NEW YORK - Billionaire philanthropist James Rockefeller V, a descendent of oil magnate John D. Rockefeller, stepped forward today as the sole winner of the 44 state Powerball lottery valued at just over $290 million. Although a winner was identified as having won the July 8th lottery, until this morning nobody had stepped forward to claim the prize.
"Mr. Rockefeller was surprised to learn he won," a spokesman said today at the Ritz-Carlton press conference. "Mr. Rockefeller purchased the ticket at the insistence of a local shopkeeper where he had stopped in for a quick cup of coffee on the way to his private hangar at JFK. The shopkeeper, a Mr. Tanzarian, will receive a check from Mr. Rockefeller for $1 million as a gesture of appreciation."
The winnings will be added to Rockefeller's estimated $9.8 billion fortune, allowing the philanthropist to break the renowned $10 billion mark. He said he would "simply... toss it on the pile."
Rockefeller, a well established patron of the New York arts and culture scene, said in a prepared statement that he did "not imagine... [winning the Powerball] will substantially change [his] life in any way" but thought it was "nice."