Phoenix-area woman quietly claims $120 million lottery prize

Reuters News
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Posted: Jun 17, 2015 6:26 PM

PHOENIX (Reuters) - A suburban Phoenix woman has quietly claimed the top prize of nearly $120 million in the multi-state Powerball lottery drawn earlier this month, an Arizona lottery official said on Wednesday.

Maria Herrera, of Glendale, walked into lottery offices with the winning ticket last week and took the lump sum cash payment of $119,993,157 before taxes for matching all six numbers in the June 3 drawing, said lottery spokeswoman Cindy Esquer.

Herrera decided against taking a 30-year annuity of $188.9 million before taxes, Esquer said.

"She was very, very quiet and didn't want to do any media interviews," said Esquer, adding that the woman had a financial advisor with her. "She really didn't tell us anything about her at all."

Lottery officials released her name, the Phoenix suburb where she lives, and her decision to take the lump sum, as required by state law following public records requests.

A new state law that goes into effect on July 3 would have allowed her to remain anonymous for 90 days after she claimed her winnings.

The winning ticket was sold at a QuickTrip convenience store in Glendale, which will receive a $25,000 commission.

The jackpot is the largest won in the state since 2012, when an Arizona man won half of a $587.5 million Powerball prize.

(Reporting by David Schwartz; Editing by Daniel Wallis and Sandra Maler)