Small Town Waits For Powerball Winner To Come Forward

ZEPHYRHILLS (CBS4) – Anticipation is building among residents of the small town of Zephyrhills, just outside of Tampa, as to who won the nearly half a billion dollar Powerball jackpot.

“The big question is who won? No one knows who won,” said Zephyrhills resident April Garcia.

The sole ticket for the highest Powerball jackpot in history was purchased at a Publix in the central Florida town with a population of 13,337.

Until Sunday, the small suburb was best known for its spring water and skydiving, but that was before the world found out the lucky lottery ticket was sold there.

“Oh my God it could have been me,” said Patty Bickford who bought a Powerball ticket at the same store.

“You got a better chance of getting hit by lightning here than you do winning the lottery,” said Zephyrhill’s resident Tom Brown.

Some are crossing their fingers, hoping the winner is a family member, a neighbor or even a friend of a friend.

“I’m hoping maybe I know the person,” said Matthew Barbosa who won just $4 from his Powerball ticket.

Lottery officials still haven’t said if the winner has stepped forward.

“They’re probably scared that’s a lot of money,” said Barbosa. “They’re probably waiting for the right time to come forward and hiding out until then.”

The lucky winner can decide to take $590.5 million annuity or they can opt for a lump sum of $376.9 million.

“I just hope whoever won it needed it and they do good with it,” said Linda Watson.

Under Florida law, the winner’s name, age and hometown will be made public as soon as the prize money is collected.

The Publix that sold the winning ticket will get a bonus commission of $85,000.

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