(THE TENNESSEAN) Four days after someone won the Mega Millions jackpot at a Bellevue gas station, Tennessee Lottery officials are still waiting for the winner to claim the $61 million prize, the largest given in state history.
From what lottery President and CEO Rebecca Hargrove said Tuesday, they might have to be in for the long haul.
Prior winners of million-dollar prizes varied in their response time.
"Sometimes people are on our doorsteps the minute we open for business," Hargrove said. "And sometimes they'll wait six months or so before they claim it."
Lottery officials awarded a much smaller check Tuesday to the owners of the gas station where the winning ticket was sold.
At the Bellevue Shell station on Old Harding Pike, Hargrove gave owner Bharat Kabaria a $25,000 check on Tuesday, along with a massive cardboard fake check he could place in his windows.
Kabaria said he plans to invest the money back into the store he and his brother operate.
Winner has 180 days
Of course, he's just as curious about who won the multimillion-dollar jackpot. It was not a particularly brisk day for business.
"When the jackpot was $636 million, that's when it was busy," Kabaria said.
The winner has 180 days to go to the lottery's Metro Center offices with the winning lottery ticket to claim his or her winnings. The prize would be a $32 million lump sum or a $61 million annuity over 30 years.
Hargrove is aware of some of the details of the winning ticket, such as whether the winning numbers were handpicked or computer generated, she declined to reveal them in case someone tries to falsely claim the prize.