Arizona Lottery says Powerball winner claims half of $588 million, identity not yet released

PHOENIX - The other ticket holders in last week's record $577.5 million Powerball jackpot have claimed their half of the prize but aren't stepping into the spotlight just yet, the Arizona Lottery said Friday.

The winning family opted to take the cash option of $192 million. They declined to take part in a news conference scheduled for Friday afternoon in Phoenix, the lottery said.

The ticket was sold at a convenience store in Fountain Hills, Ariz., northeast of Phoenix.

Lottery officials won't release the name or address of the winning family during the news conference but will give information about the family's decision to play, when they bought the winning ticket and how they responded to discovering that they had won, Lottery Director Jeff Hatch-Miller said.

A statement from the family will also be released, he said.

Hatch-Miller said the lottery would respond to media public records requests and release the name, but that probably would not occur before Monday because lottery officials were busy verifying that the family had the winning ticket. The lottery was also preparing for Friday's news conference, he said.

"Mainly because today we're focused on the press conference, we're preparing for that," Hatch-Miller said.

A Missouri mechanic and his wife, Mark and Cindy Hill, of Dearborn, Mo., already have claimed their half of the multistate Powerball prize.

The jackpot was the second-largest in U.S. history and set off a nationwide buying frenzy. At one point, tickets were selling at nearly 130,000 a minute.

Before the Nov. 28 drawing, the jackpot had rolled over 16 consecutive times without anyone hitting the jackpot. In a Mega Millions drawing in March, three ticket buyers shared a $656 million jackpot, the largest lottery payout of all time.

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