Nov. 21 (UPI) -- A $16.6 million winning ticket for a Powerball jackpot, purchased at a Tampa, Fla., convenience store, is about to expire.
If the winner doesn’t come forward by midnight on Thursday, most of the unclaimed money will go back to the lottery.
The winning ticket was sold at the Carrollwood Market Convenient Store six months ago. Store owner Nidia Tannous is still hoping someone will claim the cash, but she doesn’t have any idea about who bought the big winner.
“Most of customers are regulars, they come on a daily basis,” she said. The store was awarded $25,000 for selling the winning ticket.
Prize winners in Delaware and Louisiana both claimed their winnings within a month.
“We're so hopeful through this exposure that people will look at their ticket, open that candy jar, where ever they keep that ticket, in their car in their cupboard, and come in and claim it,” said Cynthia O’Connell, secretary of Florida’s Lottery. “This is the largest unclaimed Florida Powerball jackpot in the history since we joined the game in 2009.”
Prize money has gone unclaimed in the past. In 2011, $800 million in lottery winnings were forfeited nationwide. That was only about two percent of the $40 billion Americans won playing the lottery that year.