SIMPSONVILLE, S.C. — Remember that $1.6 billion lottery ticket sold four months ago in upstate South Carolina?
The winner of the ticket has yet to come forward, and time is officially ticking. If the ticket goes unclaimed by Tuesday, April 23, then that person will no longer be entitled to the $1.6 billion (annuity) or (lump sum) $877 million prize.
The people of Simpsonville consider it an unsolved mystery, although some speculate the ticket is long gone.
"I think he lost it," a man said about the winner.
Unlike some other states, South Carolina law allows the winner to remain anonymous after claiming their prize. Tony Cooper with the South Carolina Education lottery commission said the problem is, no one’s claimed the money.
"I’ve seen people wait up until the last day," said Cooper, who added that he isn’t hitting the panic button just yet.
It’s not that anyone loses (albeit the winner) from not turning in their winning lotto ticket, it is more of an issue of what might have been.
The $1.6 billion prize was the largest Mega Millions jackpot, ever.
Cooper said the state will receive $70 million in total from the sale of the ticket, with more than $10 million going to education.
He also said C.J. Patel, owner of the KC Mart Convenience store #7 where the winning ticket was sold, will also receive $50,000.
NBC Charlotte tried to reach Patel, but we were unsuccessful. Cooper said with more than 50 days left, he would not be surprised if the winner still came forward.