Posted on: July 26, 2023, 02:58h.
Last updated on: July 26, 2023, 02:58h.
The winner of the $1.08 billion “Skid Row” Powerball Jackpot has yet to come forward after an ecstatic woman who claimed to be the lucky player was reported to have been “faking it.”
The real winner really did buy the ticket at Las Palmitas Mini Market in downtown Los Angeles. But they are not believed to be the woman filmed dancing around the store last Thursday, a day after the draw.
An Inside Edition reporter attempted to interview the unidentified woman, who hugged strangers and cried with joy, but she appeared too ecstatic to speak.
“I can’t even … I can’t … I’m scared right now, I’m so scared,” sobbed the woman, who was wearing a baseball cap bearing the logo of “Psychedelic Water,” an alcohol substitute. She managed to nod when asked if she was the winner. Outside she collapsed on the floor and waved her hands in the air before driving off in a BMW.
‘Wanted to be on TV’
But the granddaughter of the store’s owner has told The Daily Mail she believed the woman was faking the whole episode.
“She didn’t win – I’m not sure why she did that. I guess she just wanted to be on TV,” Sarai Palacios said. “We don’t know who the winner is yet. They still haven’t come forward.”
The owner, Nabor Herrera, earlier told another news outlet he was suspicious of the woman because he did not recognize her. The winner’s true identity won’t bother Herrera too much. He gets to claim a $1 million reward for selling the ticket, regardless.
Shadow of Poverty
Much has been made of the fact that the ticket was sold on the edges of Skid Row, an area long notorious for poverty, homelessness, drugs, and crime.
In the shadow of poverty and despair of Skid Row — someone has just won $1 billion,” enthused The L.A. Times. The $1.08 billion prize is the sixth largest in US history.
The winner can either take the full amount (minus 37% in federal taxes) paid out over a 30-year period or a one-off cash payment of $558.1 million (minus the 37%). The good news is there is no state tax for California lottery wins.
Fill in the Form
Meanwhile, lottery officials said the formal process to officially identify the winner may take a while.
“Anybody claiming to be the winner isn’t valid until we say it is,” lottery spokesperson Carolyn Becker said at a news conference outside Las Palmitas Mini Market on Thursday morning.
“The California Lottery will NOT know who the winner is until someone completes and turns in a claim form, which also requires producing the winning ticket,” Becker clarified to The Independent Wednesday.
Meanwhile, those who missed out on the Powerball prize may take solace from the fact that the Mega Millions has climbed to an estimated $910 million. That’s after there was no winner on Tuesday, not even a fake one.