Most stories of the lottery involve good fortune and luck. This one however is quite the reverse. Someone out there had a winning ticket which expired. The ticket, bought for the Powerball lottery draw held on May 25th 2013 in a Florida convenience store, would have netted the holder a whopping $16 million. The winning Powerball numbers for the draw were 02, 06, 19, 21, 27 and Powerball 25.
Locals followed the story with interest and speculated on why someone would buy a Powerball lottery ticket and then fail to claim the winnings. Some think the ticket holder may have died, others suggest they lost the ticket and a further theory is that the Powerball lotto jackpot winner is from out of state and forgot to check it.
"I wish I had it," sighed resident Laura Winkles. "How could someone be so silly? This is just free money." The owner of the Carrollwood Market where the ticket with the winning Powerball numbers was sold, said that she wonders about the winner every day she walks into her store.
"The store is a neighborhood store, and pretty much 90 percent of our customers are regular customers," she said.
Nidia Tannous had placed signs in her store's window, urging customers to check their Powerball lottery tickets but it didn’t come to fruition. The store however, still received a $25,000 bonus for selling the Powerball winners ticket. "I bought a ticket that very day that ticket was sold here," said Joe Fitzgerald, a nearby resident. "I checked mine, and unfortunately, it wasn't me."
According to the rules of the lottery, if a Powerball lotto jackpot isn't claimed within 180 days from the draw date, “the funds are returned to the lottery members in their proportion of sales for the jackpot rollover series.” In other words, it goes back into the lottery prize fund.
In Florida, around 80 percent of that share goes towards the state's education enhancement trust fund. The remaining 20 percent goes to the Florida Lottery prize pool to fund new games and promotions.