BECKLEY, W.Va. — Someone, somewhere, is about to miss a chance to become a millionaire.
On March 16, a customer at the Little General Store at 3604 Robert C. Byrd Drive purchased a Powerball ticket worth $1 million.
So far, no one has showed up to collect the winnings. The ticket expires at close of business today.
"It's highly unlikely at this point," West Virginia Lottery spokesman Randy Burnside said. "But you never know. Maybe they'll show up in the eleventh hour."
The winning numbers for the Powerball drawing on Saturday, March 16 were 3, 7, 21, 44 and 53, with a Powerball of 16.
Burnside said the winning ticket matched five of those numbers, but missed the Powerball. While they missed the jackpot, the ticket holder was still eligible for a $1 million prize.
Hanna Lilly, the manager at the Little General, has heard it all.
She said people come in every day asking if anyone had brought in the winning ticket or to tell her what happened to their ticket (which they all believe was the winner). Some tell her that they're still searching high and low for that ticket.
"I washed it in my jeans."
"Oh, I throwed it away."
"It's in my purse but I returned it to Elder Beerman and they sent it to another store. But they're still looking for that purse."
Lilly said one woman, who comes in frequently, told her she lost the ticket and demanded that she look at surveillance video to prove that she was the one who bought the ticket.
Lilly refused. She said they know they sold the ticket but that the Lottery Commission won't tell them when it was sold.
"She cussed me," Lilly said. "I never would have believed that. What it brings out in people, I wish the store had never sold (the winning ticket).
"Every one of our cashiers has been cussed out over that ticket."
She said a regular customer came in at one point heartsick. She said her daughter threw out her lottery tickets.
"She said she went out to the dump and asked if she could dig up her trash," Lilly said. "She told them she knew what her bag looked like and everything but they said no, that they would never find it."