Somebody has turned in the winning ticket from the Powerball Christmas night drawing.    That might be the easiest thing the winning ticket owner will do.

The lottery is not saying where the winning ticket was sold–it quit doing that some time ago.  And it will leave it up to the winner to decide when to announce  the ticket-buyer’s name.  Lottery officials don’t give winners advice on how to handle the money, but it will give  them options and advise them to talk to some financial and legal advisers to make sure they claim the jackpot in the way that’s to their best advantage.

Lottery spokesman Susan Goedde (gaydee) says the winner has to decide whether to take the $71-milion in thirty annual payments or take a lump sum.  The lump sum is a little less than $40 million, but after a 29% tax withholding, the in-pocket amount will be about $28.3 million.

She says the lottery tries to work with winners on whether they want to do a news conference and when the information is made public.  But says   it’s important, first, for winners to take their time and think about how to claim their prize and the choices they’ll make about what to do with the money.

AUDIO: Goedde interview