A cool $16 million Powerball jackpot is sitting on the table in Florida. Any takers?
Those lottery winnings are set to expire Thursday unless someone claims the winning ticket bought in May at a suburban Tampa, Fla., convenience store.
Lottery officials say this will be the largest unclaimed jackpot in Florida since 2003, when someone didn't claim $53 million in the Florida Lotto game.
The potential of an unclaimed jackpot comes just days after a man in California failed to redeem his $465,539 Powerball-winning ticket following a 180-day deadline. Lottery officials in the state knew when and where he purchased the ticket and had the winner’s photo, but he never showed up Monday to redeem it, the Los Angeles Times reports.
In Florida, neighborhood residents who have been following the lack of action on the recent winner's part have taken to speculating on the mystery of why someone would take the time to buy a lottery ticket, win $16 million, and not claim the winnings.
The owner of the Carrollwood Market said Monday 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. "We still have a little bit of hope that somebody will come before Thursday."
Nidia Tannous has placed signs in her store's window, urging customers to check their Powerball tickets from Memorial Day.
The store received $25,000 for selling the winning 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 mine."
According to the Florida Lottery website, if a Powerball jackpot isn't claimed within 180 days from the draw date, "the funds to pay the unclaimed jackpot will be returned to the lottery members in their proportion of sales for the jackpot rollover series."
"I wish I had it," sighed resident Laura Winkles. "How could someone be so silly? This is just free money."
In Florida, about 80 percent of that share will go toward the state's education enhancement trust fund. The remaining 20 percent goes to the Florida Lottery prize pool to fund new games and promotions.
For anyone who thinks they might have bought the winning ticket, here are the details:
It was purchased at Carrollwood Market on West Village Drive in Tampa. The drawing was Saturday, May 25, and the winning numbers were 02, 06, 19, 21, 27 and a Powerball of 25.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.