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A winning $473M Powerball ticket was sold in Arizona. Here's what happens if you win

Blank forms for the Powerball lottery sit in a bin at a grocery store, in Des Moines, Iowa, on Jan. 12, 2021.
Charlie Neibergall
/
AP
Blank forms for the Powerball lottery sit in a bin at a grocery store, in Des Moines, Iowa, on Jan. 12, 2021.

A winning ticket for a $473.1 million Powerball jackpot was sold at a QuikTrip convenience store in Arizona this week.

The winner of Wednesday's drawing hasn't come forward yet to claim the state's biggest-ever single-ticket lottery win.

"It is a life-changing moment for this winner," Arizona Lottery Executive Director Gregg Edgar said in a statement. "It also means millions of dollars to our state's economy, to this winner's community, and to the vital programs and services funded by Arizona Lottery ticket sales."

The prize can be paid in 30 graduated payments that grow over 29 years if taken as an annuity. Winners can also choose a cash payment of $283.3 million. Both of these figures exclude taxes, which will apply regardless of the winner's choice.

QuikTrip will also get a piece of the pie, a $50,000 bonus.

The odds of winning the jackpot are 1 in 292.2 million. But it never hurts to be prepared. Here's what happens if you're lucky enough to win the Arizona Lottery. The details can vary by state.

First things first: sign the back of your ticket immediately, the Arizona Lottery advises. It's also a good idea to check your ticket at a retailer nearby. The retailer should return the original ticket to you and print out a blank claim form for you.

In Arizona, winning tickets valued at $600 or more can be mailed or redeemed at the Phoenix or Tucson lottery offices. If you're redeeming a claim above $10,000 in person, it can only be redeemed during weekdays at either of those locations. And make sure you have your ticket and government-issued ID with you.

If you choose to mail it, complete a winners claim form and send it along with a copy of the front of a government-issued ID. Be sure to fill out the back of the ticket.

For Powerball and Mega Millions jackpots, winners have 60 days from the date the ticket is presented in lottery offices for validation to decide whether they prefer their winnings in cash or an annuity. For Powerball, the annuity option delivers an initial payment followed by 29 graduated payments, rising 4% to keep up with inflation. The cash value is estimated as 50% of the annuity minus taxes.

The lottery is required by law to withhold 24% for federal taxes and 4.8% for state income taxes.

If you're hoping to lay low — you're in luck. In Arizona, winners of prizes of $100,000 or greater can request to remain anonymous permanently. For those who've secured smaller amounts, their name, city of residence and amount won becomes public record after 90 days.

And remember to act fast. Tickets expire 180 days from the date of the drawing. Win or lose — once it expires, it can't be redeemed.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Rina Torchinsky