Florida's Youngest Powerball Jackpot Winner Claims $235 Million

Saturday April 17th 2021

The youngest Powerball jackpot winner in Florida Lottery history has come forward to claim the $235.4 million prize he won last month.

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23-year-old Thomas Yi of Land O' Lakes in Pasco County matched the six winning numbers in the Saturday, March 27 drawing: white balls 6, 14, 38, 39, 65 and the red Powerball 6.

"Even after matching all six numbers, I was in disbelief and took my ticket to a retailer to have it checked," he said. "The clerk at the counter instantly became excited and kept repeating that I had won the $235 million Powerball jackpot. I knew then that this would be life changing."

Yi wasted no time in visiting Florida Lottery Headquarters in Tallahassee to cash in his ticket. He decided to take the lump sum and received a one-time payment of $160,038,447.

Florida Lottery rules give winners 180 days to claim before their prize expires, although in order to receive a cash option payment, they need to claim within 60 days.

Yi's future is definitely sunny, but he isn't planning to retire at the ripe old age of 23. He said that notwithstanding his life-changing windfall, he still plans to pursue higher education in business or medicine.

He bought the lucky ticket from the Publix at 16560 North Nebraska Avenue in nearby Lutz, just north of Tampa. The retailer will be paid a $95,000 commission by the FL Lottery for selling the ticket.

Yi was reported to live with his parents but it seems likely that he could soon be buying his own place. In the meantime, Tampa Bay neighbor Monica Williams had some wise advice for the newly-minted multimillionaire: "I hope he invests well; don't run through the money," she said.

Yi's win came just after another Florida player claimed a huge jackpot in March. Richard Morgan of Homosassa hit the first of four $15 million top prizes on the Billion Dollar Gold Rush Supreme scratch-off game and chose to receive a one-time payment of $13,200,000.00. Morgan purchased the winning ticket from Jiffy at 6241 West Cardinal Street in Homosassa.

Florida law does not allow winners to stay anonymous; the Lottery must give information including the winner's name and city of residence to anyone who asks.

Past Florida Powerball Winners

The Sunshine State is one of the highest-selling Powerball jurisdictions, and many residents have landed amazing prizes over the years.

2020 saw two massive Powerball wins in the state. Lantana man William Kruger scored a $168.5 million prize on August 12, 2020 with a ticket purchased at a Publix in Boynton Beach. Kruger opted for the lump sum of $140,145,006.00.

And on January 29, Ocala accountant Sheryll Goedert hit a $396.9 million jackpot on a ticket from 7-Eleven in Bonita Springs. Goedert took the the cash option of $276,558,034.09 before taxes.

And FYI ... both winners' lucky tickets were Quick Picks.

The largest Florida Powerball prize on a single ticket was $590.5 million won by Gloria Mackenzie of Zephyrhills in 2013.

The biggest prize hit by multiple winners was $1.5 billion in 2016. David Kaltschmidt and Maureen Smith of Melbourne Beach won one-third of the  largest jackpot in lottery history and shared the $983.5 million cash option with two other tickets.

Current Powerball Jackpot

The jackpot for the next Powerball drawing on Saturday, April 17 is up to an estimated $79 million, so be sure to pick up a ticket for your chance to win.

From August 23, Powerball is launching a third weekly draw, adding Monday to the current Wednesday and Saturday night schedule.

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