Workers at a Quaker Oats factory in Iowa claimed the largest lottery prize in the US state’s history on Wednesday – a massive $241 million.
The winners celebrated their win by travelling into town on a chartered bus, smiling for the media and attending a news conference – before requesting to remain anonymous.
According to the Associated Press, after 18 of the 20 winners showed up at the state’s lottery headquarters to claim the $241 million Powerball jackpot, the group announced they would be going to court to seek an injunction to prohibit the release of their last names to the public.
The Iowa Lottery verified the winning ticket, which was sold June 13.
The group of factory workers chose the lump-sum payment option of $160.3 million, with each winner — 18 men and two women — receiving roughly a $5.6 million cut after tax.
It is reportedly the first time an Iowa lottery winner has chosen to take legal action to keep their name confidential.
The man who bought the ticket for the group, who identified himself only as Al, said the lottery winners wanted to avoid having people knocking on their doors by keeping their names private.
The lottery office, along with Iowa attorney general Tom Miller, believes the winners’ names should be made public, but it has agreed to allow the group 10 business days to seek an injunction.
“It is our position that they should be made public, and we’re giving them what we believed is rights under the Iowa Code to have the chance to go to court and cite something different. But we don’t need to go to court because we believe it is open,” Iowa Lottery CEO Terry Rich said.
The winners are aged between 35 and 64 and work in the Quaker factory’s shipping department. According to a statement from the Iowa Lottery, at least 11 of them said they intend to retire immediately.
The winners have not yet revealed specific plans for how they’ll spend their win, but said they’re willing to fight for as long as it takes to keep their names withheld from the public.
“They didn’t want their last names known. That’s their choice. This is still a free country — for a while anyway,” the group’s lawyer, Joe Day, said.View Comments