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St. Petersburg Sweetbay sells winning $50 million Powerball ticket

11:00 PM, Dec 27, 2012   |    comments
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St. Petersburg, Florida -- Somebody in the Bay area has 50 milllion reasons to be celebrating this Christmas Season.

A single winning quick pick ticket, sold in St. Petersburg, had all the right numbers in last night's $50 million Powerball drawing, according to lottery officials.

No one has come forward just yet, somehow overcoming odds of one in 175 million.

In fact, you could call it the "Miracle on 34th Street" -- appropriate for the holiday season. That's because the ticket was sold at the Sweetbay store on 34th Street in St. Pete. The winning Powerball numbers were 54-43-14-11-23 and the Powerball was 4

"Everybody was so excited and it just raised everybody's spirits today," said store manager Melanie Summers, "I'm sure everybody's got bills after Christmas and they'll probably extend their Christmas after this one."

The winning ticket is the fifth Powerball winner in Florida history -- the most of any state.

"Congratulations to whoever you are," said customer Jim Palmquist, "I hope you spend it wisely."

There will be plenty to spend.

When whoever won finally comes forward, and they have 180 days to do it, the lump sum option would likely be well over $30 million before taxes.

"We're all friends. We're all a big family here, and I'd really like to see something good happen to someone I know," said Summers, "even if it is a regular customer - just - it adds that little bit of extra excitement."

While the winner still has not come forward, they do have a pretty good idea who it is not. All the Sweetbay employees were working today. No one was mysteriously absent.

And it wasn't Walt Lewis, who plays the powerball game at this very store almost every other night - but not last night. 

"I had the flu, I couldn't get out," said Lewis, " I wish I would have made it that day 'cause you never know."

The same Sweetbay store has sold other winners in years past for more than $700,000 and another for close to a million. But those were nothing close to the $50 million winner sold last night.

The store itself is a winner too. They'll get a $25,000 bonus for selling the ticket, not to mention a reputation as a lucky lottery locale.
 
"I'll have to come back here in another day or so and pick up another one," said Palmquist.

There's also fiscal cliff element to this story.

If the person who won this prize comes forward and is somehow able to collect their prize before Jan. 1, the income would be taxed at the 2012 rate.

If new tax rates kick-in, a local accountant said the difference could work out to about $1.5 million.


Did you know that 10 News is the official lottery station in the Tampa Bay area? Check out 10 News at 11 each night for the winning numbers, and you can also find the winning numbers here: Florida lottery numbers.

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