LINCOLN, Neb. – Whoever won the nation's biggest jackpot has an open invitation to return to the convenience store where the winning ticket was bought and share the wealth.
"If I sold the ticket to them I hope they'd share in the winnings — at least, even one-tenth of a percent would suit me just fine," said Stacey Carey, a clerk at the U-Stop on West O St.
No one had come forward Sunday to claim the record $365 million Powerball jackpot, said Nebraska Lottery spokesman Brian Rockey. With the office closed for Presidents Day, the winner may not be known until Tuesday, if then.
Jim Haynes, acting director of the Nebraska Lottery, said large jackpot winners "tend to wait until they have sought legal counsel or financial counsel."
The winning numbers drawn Saturday were 15, 17, 43, 44 and 48, with a Powerball number of 29, according to the Multi-State Lottery Association of Des Moines, Iowa, which runs the game for the participating states.
The U-Stop — which would earn a $50,000 bonus if it sold the winning ticket — was swarmed with reporters and customers Sunday, said owner Mick Mandl.
"Everybody wants to talk to us," he said. "They're excited."
Carey says she suspected that the winning ticket was sold in her store.
"The prior-shift clerk told me he heard it was sold here and I checked our lottery machine and sure enough it said it was sold at this store."
The U-Stop is a busy store, where many people around Lincoln stop for gas, cigarettes and lottery tickets.
"We get all kinds of clientele in here so it could be anywhere from a rich businessperson to somebody who lives in low-income housing across the street," Carey said.
Records indicate the ticket was bought at 3:09 p.m. and its numbers were computer-generated. The ticket holder beat the 1-in-146.1 million odds of winning.
Visitors to the store over the weekend were greeted by a white board with a hand-drawn message: "Welcome to U-Stop. Home to the largest lottery payout in U.S. history!"
The winning ticket holder has the option of taking the money in one lump sum or installments over 30 years. The cash option is $177.3 million, or $124.1 million after taxes. On the installment plan, the first payment would be $6,507,986 after taxes.
In October, an Oregon family claimed the largest jackpot in U.S. lottery history won by a single ticket, $340 million. Until then, the richest undivided lottery jackpot in U.S. history was the $314.9 million Powerball jackpot won by a West Virginia man on Christmas Day 2002.
Winning big money hasn't always proved lucky. Jack Whittaker, the West Virginia winner, lost his 17-year-old granddaughter to a drug overdose, a development that friends said was hastened by her sudden access to vast wealth.
Powerball is played in 28 states, the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands.