$1.6 billion Powerball winners claim jackpot in Tallahassee
Melbourne Beach couple chooses lump sum $327.8 million
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The holders of one of the three winning tickets from last month's $1.6 billion Powerball jackpot collected their prize Wednesday afternoon at the Florida Lottery headquarters in Tallahassee.
David Kaltschmidt, 55, and wife Maureen Smith, 70, were introduced to the media as they claimed their prize, which was split three ways.
The Melbourne Beach couple elected to take the lump-sum payment of $327.8 million.
"I had picked the numbers," Smith said. "They are numbers that I play for years. But I very rarely play."
Residents in the Melbourne Beach neighborhood where Kaltschmidt and Smith live told Local 10 News reporter Terrell Forney that they had no idea the couple won big.
That's because Kaltschmidt and Smith kept the winning a secret.
"You worry what's going to happen because we know that we're no longer in a quiet place," Smith said.
They watched as speculation grew that another Melbourne-area woman was the winner and members of the media waited outside her home. The winners kept so quiet that they didn't even tell their family until last week.
"That was hard, really hard," Smith said. "Especially when everyone was saying, you know, 'You're from Melbourne Beach. Did you win? Do you know who won?'"
The winning ticket was purchased at their local Publix in Melbourne Beach, where they have lived since 1991.
Kaltschmidt said he plans to retire from his job as a manufacturing engineer for Northrop Grunman. He joked that he lost more than 10 pounds pacing back and forth at night with excitement.
The other two winning tickets for the Jan. 13 drawing were bought in Mumford, Tennessee, and Chino Hills, California. It was the largest jackpot in U.S. history.
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