Powerball Officials In Minnesota Try To Verify Potential Winner's Claim

(Updates with person coming forward with possible Minnesota winning ticket)

MINNEAPOLIS, Aug 8 (Reuters) - A person claiming to hold one of three winning tickets to a $448 million Powerball jackpot came forward in Minnesota on Thursday, the morning after the numbers were drawn, officials said.

Officials sought to verify the winning ticket after the person went to lottery headquarter in Roseville on Thursday morning, "very fast" by Minnesota standards, state lottery spokeswoman Debbie Hoffmann said.

If the ticket is verified, officials would likely announce the name of the winner as well as the retailer that sold the ticket Thursday afternoon, Hoffmann said. The Minnesota ticket was purchased at a store in Anoka County, which includes the northern part of the Minneapolis-St.Paul metro area.

The Multi-State Lottery Association said two winning tickets were sold in New Jersey and the third was in Minnesota.

The numbers drawn on Wednesday night were 5, 25, 30, 58, 59 and Powerball 32.

The New Jersey tickets were sold at a Super Stop & Shop supermarket in South Brunswick and an Acme Markets store in Little Egg Harbor, said Judith Drucker, spokeswoman for the New Jersey Lottery.

"It's nice. It's good for whoever won," said Stop & Shop store manager Howard Witzgall, noting the winner's identity remained a mystery.

The odds of winning the jackpot were about one in 175 million. If the Minnesota ticket checks out, it would be worth about $86 million on a lump-sum cash basis, or $58.3 million after taxes, the lottery said.

The largest jackpot in history stands at $656 million, won in the Mega Millions lottery in March 2012. That prize was split among winners in Maryland, Kansas and Illinois.

The biggest single-winner Powerball jackpot, $590.5 million, was claimed in June by an 84-year-old Florida woman who opted for a lump-sum payment of nearly $371 million rather than the 30-year option.

Powerball tickets are sold in 43 states, the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Five states - Kansas, Maryland, Delaware, North Dakota and Ohio - allow the winners to remain anonymous, according to the Multi-State Lottery Association. (Reporting by David Bailey in Minneapolis, Tom Brown in Miami and Victoria Cavaliere in New York; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)



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