TODAY'S PAPER
53° Good Evening
53° Good Evening
NewsNation

$590M Powerball winner still a mystery

ZEPHYRHILLS, Fla. -- It's been two long weeks since the small city of Zephyrhills learned that a $590 million Powerball ticket was sold at a supermarket here.

No one expected the winner to come forward in the first days after the announcement.

After all, curious residents reasoned, the person might need a few days to absorb the shock, or to consult with financial advisers.

But then a week passed, and more, and now folks are so anxious to know the winner's identity they could jump out of their skin.

"Being in a small town, everybody knows everybody and in some cases, everybody's business," said Dave Walters, a longtime reporter at the Zephyrhills News community newspaper.

"It's hard to keep a secret in this town, but this is one of the biggest mysteries we've had in a long, long time."

Zephyrhills, population 13,337, is about 30 miles northeast of downtown Tampa.

Like many Florida communities, it features a small, old-timey downtown strip where restaurants, gift shops and clothing stores sit under a canopy of oak trees.

Around the city's perimeter, there's the suburban sprawl of big-box stores.

It was in that sprawl, at a Publix supermarket, where the winning ticket was sold.

Rumors were swirling about who the winner could be: Publix deli employees, single moms working at Wal-Mart -- even the cousin of a friend of a guy who lived clear in another county.

"Anybody who did not show up for work on that Monday was considered to be the lottery winner," Walters said.

The winner has 60 days from the date of the May 18 drawing to claim a lump-sum payment, and until mid-November to claim annual cash payments.

Comments

We're revamping our Comments section. Learn more and share your input.

News Photos and Videos