A coal miner told her his ticket had been destroyed in his bucket when a beverage spilled and soaked the paper slip, making it illegible. It could have been him, Lilly said.
Another woman said her boyfriend was a truck driver and that he'd bought a ticket there. Maybe it was his.
Then there's the story of the couple going through a divorce and that the ticket was among the possessions to be divided.
Lilly was working the Sunday morning after the drawing. She learned their store sold the winning ticket via a text message. She immediately called her daughter at home to check their tickets. Her daughter told her she making breakfast for her baby and that she'd check them later.
She called back two hours later. No luck.
The West Virginia Lottery has received several inquiries about the tickets — Burnside said some people have found old tickets and called to check the numbers, believing they might be a winner — but nothing has panned out so far.
"You never know. It may have been a passerby who threw away the ticket without checking it," Burnside said.
He said the player also might not have realized they were still eligible for a prize, even though they missed the Powerball.
It's fairly common for $1, $2 or $5 lottery prizes to expire unclaimed, but players almost always cash in their million-dollar prizes.
It's only happened twice in the history of the West Virginia Lottery, Burnside said.
If no one claims the ticket, the prize money will go into the Lottery's unclaimed prize fund, which is used to support promotional activities like its second-chance drawings for scratch-off tickets.
The Little General store's owner still will receive its one-percent bonus for selling the ticket, however. Burnside said retailers usually get their bonus when prizewinners claim their tickets but this time the Lottery had to wait until the ticket expired before handing out the bonus.
Lilly hopes some of the bonus money will go to the store workers. She's excited to see if anyone comes forward.
If you own the winning ticket, call the West Virginia Lottery at 304-558-0500. Then, call the Charleston Daily Mail at 304-348-5129. We'd love to talk to you.
Contact writer Zack Harold at 304-348-7939 or zack.har...@