World News – I know I am going to be getting a couple of tickets just for shits and giggles. This is too big a prize to not at least try.
The ever-surging Powerball jackpot has grown to a record $1.3 billion after Saturday night’s drawing which had no bigger winner.
But should you wind up with the winning jackpot in Wednesday’s record-breaking draw, odds are good that you won’t be able to hold on to your anonymity.
With Powerball tickets sold in 44 states, as well as in Washington, D.C., the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico, all but six states require lottery winners to come forward publicly.
Delaware, Kansas, Maryland, North Dakota, Ohio and South Carolina still allow winners to remain anonymous.
Other states, however, permit winners to create limited liability companies, so that when their names have to be announced, it’s the companies and not individuals that are identified.
“Everyone’s different. Some people will enjoy this five minutes in the spotlight,” Jason Kurland, an attorney for three Greenwich, Connecticut, wealth managers who split a $245 million Powerball prize in 2011, previously told NBC News.
“But a lot of times, winners come to me and they’re petrified,” he said. “They don’t know how to protect themselves from other people with their hands out.”
Past winners have devised creative ways to curb the attention even when they have to be identified.
During news conferences, some might choose to obscure their faces with the oversized checks.
Since Nov. 4, the Powerball jackpot has grown from its $40 million starting point when no one won. This kind of huge jackpot was just what lottery officials hoped for last fall when they changed the odds of matching all the Powerball numbers — from about one in 175 million to one in 292.2 million.
By making it harder to win a jackpot, the tougher odds made the ever-larger prizes inevitable. The bigger prizes draw more players, who in turn make the jackpots even bigger.
A single winner of Saturday’s historic windfall will earn the largest jackpot prize ever in the U.S. It climbed from an already-record $800 million jackpot on Friday.
Saturday’s drawing is set for 11 p.m. ET.
Former lottery winner Mike Wittkowski, who found himself $40 million richer in 1984, previously told NBC News that he wishes he had the opportunity to stay anonymous. People came out of the woodwork wanting a piece of his prize.
“It’s so much better for your privacy and everything else. You get every crazy contacting you,” Wittkowski said.
by ERIK ORTIZ, NBCNews.com, edited by Dan Stevens