The winner of a record Powerball jackpot has yet to come forward two weeks after the numbers matching his or her ticket were drawn.
The $590 million jackpot ticket was sold in Zephyrhills, Florida, a small town where most people know each other. It wasn't a surprise that it took a few days for the winner to come forward, but, by now, many are wondering if that person will ever claim the massive jackpot.
Curious residents of Zephyrhills initially decided that the Powerball winner would need a few days to realize the scope of their winnings and prepare for the inevitable media onslaught.
But after a week passed, officials encouraged those who purchased tickets from the supermarket to check their numbers again, just in case. Now that two weeks have passed, residents are getting anxious to find out who in their town of 13,337 became a multi millionaire overnight.
Dave Walters, a longtime reporter for the community's newspaper, Zephyrhills News, stated of the anticipation:
"Being in a small town, everybody knows everybody and in some cases, everybody's business. It's hard to keep a secret in this town, but this is one of the biggest mysteries we're had in a long, long time."
There are several possibilities for why the Powerball winner has yet to come forward, such as the winner hasn't looked at the ticket (unlikely), read the numbers wrong, biding their time until the media circus calms down, or even that the winner lost his or her ticket.
Whatever the reason is, Walters explained that rumors are still running rampant through Zephyrhills for who purchased the jackpot ticket at Publix market. He added:
"Anybody who did not show up for work on that Monday was considered to be the lottery winner. If you had the flu and didn't show up for work, everyone thought you were the lottery winner. If you took a personal day or a sick day, they thought you had won the lottery."
But those suspects have denied owning the winning ticket. The Powerball winner has 60 days from the date of the drawing to claim the record prize as a lump sum and 180 days to claim it in lifetime payments. If that date passes, the funds will go to the state, leaving the residents of Zephyrhills to wonder who the winner was.