Couple Spent 6 Months Preparing to Claim Powerball Jackpot

And now California's Marvin and Mae Acosta plan to 'fall off the grid'
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 19, 2016 2:41 PM CDT
Couple Spent 6 Months Preparing to Claim Powerball Jackpot
This Jan. 13, 2016, file photo shows 7-Eleven store clerk M. Faroqui celebrates with customers after learning the store sold a winning Powerball ticket in Chino Hills, Calif.   (Will Lester/The Sun via AP, File)

Three winning tickets were sold in January's record $1.6 billion Powerball drawing, the largest in US history: one in Florida, one in Tennessee, and one in the LA suburb of Chino Hills. But while the Florida and Tennessee winners came forward almost immediately, the third claimant(s) remained a mystery—until Friday, when Marvin and Mae Acosta came forward for their share of the giant prize, California Lottery officials announced Tuesday, per the Los Angeles Times. They brought with them the piece of paper worth a cool $528.8 million—which the Acostas opted to take in a lump sum that, after taxes, will amount to $327.8 million—and a request for privacy, noting in a statement given to lottery officials: "It is not our intention to become public figures." A lottery official adds that the couple plans to "fall off the grid," which he deems an "interesting challenge."

But the couple has been doing a pretty good job of it so far, remaining mum for more than six months. "These winners did just what we tell all our winners to do—they read our Winner's Handbook and then assembled a team of legal and financial advisers to help them make the most of this windfall," Hugo Lopez, the director of the California Lottery, tells the Fontana Herald. The Acostas say in their statement that they've already sewn up most of the money into a trust or given to charities they care about. "We are thankful and blessed for the rare gift that has been placed in our care," they said, per KTLA. (The Tennessee winners may not have read the same handbook.)

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