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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Unidentified person bought $1 million lottery ticket in Clarkston

Money is counted for 100 Powerball tickets purchased by one customer at the Penn Branch Liquor store, Saturday, Jan. 9, 2016 in Washington. (Alex Brandon / AP)
Money is counted for 100 Powerball tickets purchased by one customer at the Penn Branch Liquor store, Saturday, Jan. 9, 2016 in Washington. (Alex Brandon / AP)
By Elaine Williams Lewiston Tribune

A Clarkston Albertsons customer is in the happy predicament of figuring out what to do with $1 million.

A Powerball ticket purchased at that store was drawn for a $1 million prize Saturday.

As of Thursday afternoon, it had yet to be claimed, said Kristi Weeks, director of legal services at Washington’s Lottery.

The name and place where the person lives will be revealed once the money is accepted, in accordance with the state’s public records rules.

“(People) need to know people win. If they don’t think people win, why would they play?” Weeks said.

How soon Clarkston’s new millionaire will surface isn’t clear. The winner has until April 18 to pick up the money, and because of the amount involved, the person will have to travel to do so.

Prizes of between $601 and $100 million are only handed out at the lottery’s headquarters in Olympia and at five regional offices, she said.

The regional offices are in Spokane, Yakima, Federal Way, Vancouver and Everett.

Powerball is just one of the lottery games those offices handle.

The ones with the highest stakes are Powerball and Mega Millions because they are played in multiple states, Weeks said.

Mega Millions has been in the news recently since its jackpot grew to $1.54 billion. That winning ticket was bought in Simpsonville, S.C., by a person who is yet to be identified. Unlike Washington, South Carolina doesn’t require disclosure of winners’ identities.

Washington state also has its own games – scratch tickets and five state drawings where the stakes are often lower because less money goes into them.

The games have a variety of benefits, she said.

Washington’s Lottery distributed $422.5 million, or more than 60 percent of its revenue, to winners last year.

Others benefit, too. Educational programs, such as charter schools and scholarships for foster children and other disadvantaged young people, received $127 million, or 20 percent.

Retailers selling tickets received 5 percent, or $33.9 million, and 2 percent, or $12.2 million, went to CenturyLink Field.

“We give back in lots of ways,” Weeks said.

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