Winning $494m lottery ticket sold in city battered by Hurricane Ian

Windfall will be shared with a winner in California

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A winning lottery ticket worth a half-share of a $494 million Mega Millions jackpot was bought in a south-west Florida city battered by Hurricane Ian late last month.

Florida lottery officials on Monday said one of the two winning tickets was bought at a 7-Eleven convenience shop in Fort Myers. The other winning ticket was bought in California.

Hurricane Ian made landfall in south-west Florida as a Category 4 storm on September 28 and has been blamed for more than 100 deaths in the state.

It was the third-deadliest storm to hit the US mainland this century. More than half of the storm-related deaths in Florida were reported in Lee County, which includes Fort Myers.

Lottery winners in Florida have 180 days to claim their prize. Under a new state law, they can stay anonymous for 90 days from the day they claim the winnings, if their prize is worth $250,000 or more.

Past winners have also set up legal trusts as a way to keep their identities anonymous.

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Updated: October 18, 2022, 10:54 PM