Winner of record Powerball pot has yet to come forward

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ZEPHYRHILLS, Fla. - There is still no sign of the person who just won the largest jackpot in Powerball history.

That single winning ticket, worth $590 million, was sold in Zephyrhills, just outside of Tampa.

A financial planner had some pretty surprising advice for that lucky person

Outside the Zephyrhills Publix most people were wondering who has that winning ticket. Most said they know what they would do if they had it.

"If I won the money I know in a very short period of time I'd disappear, because I'd have people coming out of the woodwork, like cockroaches, trying to collect that money," said Zephyrhills resident Jeff Weyer.

Which is why before calling a banker or an accountant or buying a case of champagne, financial strategist Scott Peelen said the winner needs some emotion-based counseling.

"Don't be afraid to talk to someone who has sought professional help in the past, because what that person is going to do is say, 'Let's sit down,'" said Peelen.

Peelen said he believes the winner needs to get his head on straight before spending a dime.

"And the reason is, the vultures come in.  They start feeling guilty. They say, 'Why me?' and, 'I have to help others.'  The next thing you know, they get angry at giving all this money away and they're just a mess," said Peelen.

The $590 million jackpot is a dozen times more than Zephyrhills' entire annual budget, which is just $49 million. 

Weyer says he wouldn't need counseling.  He'd give to his kids. But that's where it ends.

"Boom. Here's your million bucks. Leave me alone," said Weyer.

"What about the fringe relatives?" Channel 9's Berndt Petersen.

"Forget them. They can buy their own ticket," said Weyer.

Uncle Sam gets a big cut of the jackpot, which Peelen says is nearly 40 percent.

And Publix gets a bonus of $85,000 for selling the ticket, according to Lottery officials. 


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