Where is California's $2B Powerball jackpot winner?
LOS ANGELES - Remember the lottery fever that took a hold on pretty much the entire country when that big Powerball jackpot worth $2.04 billion was up for grabs?
How about when we all found out that the winning ticket was sold at a convenience store right here in Altadena?
It's been three months since the California Lottery announced there was indeed a single winner - but it's unknown still if that person has come forward to claim their prize.
Joe Chahayed, the owner of the Altadena convenience store where the ticket was sold, has apparently received his $1 million for selling the ticket, but lottery officials have yet to disclose any information on the jackpot winner.
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Keep in mind that winners undergo a rigorous vetting process by their state lottery. This process can take weeks or months before a winner can be declared, officials said.
Also, the winner has one year to claim their prize. The winner of the $2.04 billion jackpot – with a cash value of $997.6 million – still has about 38 weeks to come forward.
In California, the winner’s name is considered public record and the state lottery said a winner's full name, the name and location of the retailer that sold the ticket, and the amount of the winnings, including the gross and net installment payments, are all subject to disclosure, according to the California Lottery Winner's Handbook.
While lottery winners are often advised by financial experts to not tell anyone that they've won, only some states allow winners to remain anonymous.
The North American Association of State and Provincial Lotteries, which is a nonprofit professional trade association that represents all government-sanctioned lotteries in North America, says players cannot remain anonymous in most participating jurisdictions.
States that grant anonymity include Arizona, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Kansas, Maryland, and Minnesota, New Jersey, Texas, Virginia, and Wyoming.
As an alternative, winners might be able to form a blind trust through their attorney so that winnings can be anonymously received, State Farm advises.
Now if the prize goes unclaimed past the one-year stipulation, participating lotteries will receive their share of the prize’s cash value built by their ticket sales, according to the Powerball website.
Jurisdictions then disburse the funds based on local rules or laws. In California, funds would go to public schools and colleges. Schools already received $156.3 million from ticket sales while the jackpot was growing, making it the largest contribution to education generated from one rolling sequence in the California Lottery’s history.
FOX News and The Associated Press contributed to this report.