Hugo Lopez, director of the California Lottery, explained why it took so long for the couple to come forward, stating, “they read our Winner's Handbook and then assembled a team of legal and financial advisors to help them make the most of this windfall and prepare them for their new life as Lottery winners." The Acostas’ restraint was in stark contrast to the Robinsons, who flew to New York to appear on NBC’s Today Show and tell their story just two days after the winning draw and before they had even contacted the Tennessee Lottery.
The Acostas are the California Lottery’s biggest ever winners and opted to accept the cash lump sum option of $327.8 million, rather than the annuitized $528.8 million over 30 years. They turned down the opportunity to talk to the press, but released a statement in which they confirmed the majority of the post-tax Powerball prize would be held in trust, with some directed towards charities close to their hearts.
The press release went on to say, “while we are very grateful for the wonderful wishes and encouragement we've received, it is not our intention to become public figures, and we ask for and appreciate privacy going forward.”
The 7-Eleven at which the couple bought their ticket was awarded for its part in the win with $1 million and owner Balbir Atwal pledged at the time to share the windfall with friends, family, employees and charities. The store was besieged by the world’s press in the days following the draw, with the identity of the ticket holder the subject of numerous internet rumours.
Powerball returns tonight with a jackpot worth $361 million following 20 rollovers since the Smith Family Lottery Pool of New Jersey scooped $429.6 million on 7th May. You can buy Powerball tickets at authorised retailers across the participating states and jurisdictions or online wherever you are through lottery concierge services.