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Powerball Winners Finally Claim Their Share of $1.6 Billion Prize

Image: Powerball Winners Finally Claim Their Share of $1.6 Billion Prize

Balbir Atwal, owner of a 7-Eleven that sold one of the winning tickets, holds a check he received for $1 million. (AP Photo/Nick Ut)

By Clyde Hughes   |   Wednesday, 20 Jul 2016 07:59 AM

Powerball winners from January's historic jackpot finally claimed their share of the $1.6 billion prize in California, according to the Los Angeles Times.

On Friday, Marvin and Mae Acosta presented the winning ticket to the Jan. 12 drawing -- the largest in U.S. history -- to the California Lottery's office in Van Nuys, opting to take the lump sum total of $327.8 million before federal taxes, said the Times.

The couple lives in Eastvale, near Chino Hills where the ticket was purchased at a 7-Eleven convenience store.

"We are thankful and blessed for the rare gift that has been placed in our care," the Acostas said in a statement and asked for privacy. "We have engaged a team of advisors to educate and guide us through this process so that we can be good stewards of these new resources."

"While many decisions are still to be made, we have committed nearly all of this new resource to a trust and to charities that are important to us. While we are very grateful for the wonderful wishes and encouragement we've received, it is not our intention to become public figures, and we ask for and appreciate privacy going forward." 

In February, married couple Maureen Smith and David Kaltschmidt, who live in Melbourne Beach, Florida, were announced as one of the jackpot winners, said NBC News.

"I just know I want to help the special people in my life," Smith said in February, while her husband, an engineer with Northrop Grumman, said he planned to retire.

Lisa and John Robinson, of Munford, Tennessee, were the first winners of the huge jackpot to come forward, confirming days after the lottery that they won part of the prize, said People magazine. The couple appeared on the "Today" show and then met with Tennessee lottery officials to claim their winnings, noted the magazine.

The Acostas, though, approached the winning cautiously, as they quietly met with people who could help them before coming forward, lottery spokesman Alex Traverso told the Times.

"They did all the stuff we hoped they would," said Traverso. "They got a lawyer, made a plan, got everything squared away so they could get their claim and sort of disappear. They're going to fall off the grid. That's going to be an interesting challenge."

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Powerball winners from January's historic jackpot finally claimed their share of the $1.6 billion prize in California.
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