February 17th, 2016
The record-setting $1.5 billion Powerball draw that took the world-media by storm happened in early January of this year with confirmation of three winning tickets. It didn't take long for two of the three winning tickets to be claimed but the third winner delayed their announcement till 17th February when the final ticket was claimed.
David Kaltschmidt, 55, and Maureen Smith, 70, of Melbourne Beach, Florida held a news conference Wednesday to reveal themselves as the owners of the third and final record-setting Powerball ticket. The two explained they, like one of the other two winners, plan to accept a lump-sum of $327 million as opposed to an annual-payment plan that would eventually payout $528 million.
The Powerball, one of two premier lottery draws in the United States along with the Mega Millions, decided to revamp their lottery ball scheme which resulted in a odds spike for the jackpot (1 in 175 million up to 1 in 292 million) but increased the chances to land a smaller prize (1 in 32 down to 1 in 25).
The major changes (basically adding 10 new white balls and eliminating 9 red balls) clearly worked as the Powerball's jackpot began it's historic rise to the eventual $1.5 billion, almost 3x the previous records. The media took notice of the rise as it approached the Mega Millions' record $656 million jackpot, also split by three winners back in 2012, but the real craze began when it not only passed the previous record but more than doubled it.
The Powerball was finally won on 13th January 2016 with three tickets all hitting the 5 winning numbers (4-8-19-27-34) and one Powerball (10). The three tickets were confirmed to be sold in the US states of Tennessee, California, and Florida.
The winning tickets from Tennessee and California were claimed relatively quickly following the historic announcement. Only John and Lisa Robertson of Munford, Tennessee, have actually cashed in their ticket to begin collecting their winnings. They, like the Kaltschmidt and Smith, accepted the $327 million lump-sum payout, forgoing the additional $200 million winnings paid out if an annual plan was chosen.
As explained in an article earlier this month, time restraints on ticket claiming exist, with a typical lottery allotting 180 days to claim winnings. But, as we also explained, the opportunity to accept the lump-sum payment method has even more limited time restraints.
Florida Lottery spokesman, Shelly Gerteisen, explained the winner only had 60 days to claim their ticket if they desired the lump-sum payment plan. Fortunately for Kaltschmidt and Smith, they claimed their ticket with a little under 30 days to spare, leaving only the California winner pressed for time. Now the two Florida winners get to enjoy the massive jackpot immediately and not be forced to accept the annual payment plan.