Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Darien Is Speculatin' about Who Hit Jackpot

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Darien Is Speculatin' about Who Hit Jackpot

Article excerpt

DARIEN -- Who won? And can they spare, oh, a million bucks or

two?

Those were the big questions yesterday in this quiet shrimping

community of 1,700 along coastal Georgia.

Darien played a guessing game about who holds the winning

ticket for Lotto Georgia's $31 million jackpot, the largest in

the state lottery's five-year history.

"I wish it had been me, but I'm happy for whoever won it," said

Sheila Parker, a Darien antiques shop owner. "I just hope they

will be happy with it and do good things with the money."

State lottery officials have not discovered who won the

jackpot. They knew only the winning ticket from Saturday night's

drawing was sold in Darien.

The winning numbers were: 2-7-12-23-24-26.

The 253 tickets with five of the numbers are each worth $836.

The 12,570 tickets showing four of the numbers are each worth

$42. The 205,110 tickets with three of the numbers are each

worth $3.

It had been 16 weeks since someone last won the jackpot. The

prize started at $2 million on June 6.

The winner apparently chose the cash option, meaning he or she

will collect a one-time payoff "somewhere in the neighborhood of

$16 million," said Vicky Gavalas, state lottery media relations

manager.

"The winner has not come forward yet," Gavalas said. "We do not

know if the winner lives in Darien or was just passing through

there when he or she bought the ticket."

Lottery officials declined to reveal whether the winning ticket

was a "quick pick." Nor would they disclose when or where it was

sold in Darien.

"That information is all part of the validation process and

security procedures that we use to prevent ticket fraud and

preserve the integrity of the lottery," Gavalas said.

The winner has 180 days to claim the prize in person at lottery

headquarters in Atlanta, she said.

"Sometimes, it takes a couple of days for people to claim their

prize," she said. "They might not check their tickets right away

or they take a couple of days to talk to lawyers or other people

to get advice about what to do with the money. …

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