USATODAY by Cathy Lynn Grossman--Lottery officials in Missouri say they have a Powerball winner and scheduled a press conference for midday Friday at a high school near the convenience store that sold the ticket.
Missouri Lottery Chief Operations Officer Gary Gonder hasn't revealed any details on who drew all six numbers for a share of the $587.5 million Powerball jackpot.
A second winning ticket was sold in Arizona but so far no winner has been confirmed. That may be because the tickek holder is taking the advice from Arizona Lottery spokesman Karen Bach: "Be thoughtful and make some plans. We recommend they seek out a financial adviser.''
Meanwhile, the 4 Sons Food Store in Fountain Hills, Ariz., where the second winning ticket was sold, has been the scene of a media frenzy. Fountain Hills, northeast of Phoenix, is a scenic suburb nestled between mountains and a Native American casino on the Valley's northeast fringe. Seitz estimates 90-95 percent of his customers at the store are Fountain Hills residents and he said that many of them are well-known to employees.
The store's owners receive a $25,000 bonus for selling the winning jackpot ticket. Co-owner Eric Seitz hinted it might go toward contributions to charities or bigger Christmas bonuses for employees might be good options
Seitz, the chain's general manager, said he does not know who bought the winning ticket, but lottery officials told him it was purchased within 36 hours of Tuesday night's drawing.
"It's fun. I'm happy someone won in Fountain Hills and Arizona. It's a blast,'' he said. "It's good luck for Arizona's side. Maybe it's turning around for us.''
Customer Lori Derwent of Fountain Hills, said she is happy for the winner, regardless of who that might be, and hopes it is someone who could use the money.
"I think it's great. In these kind of times, especially around Christmas, it's nice to see a little bit of Christmas magic,'' said Derwent, who was busy working on Tuesday and did not buy a ticket.
Wednesday's winner in Arizona will have 60 days to chose between a 30-year annuity or a lump-sum cash payment.