Who has the winning $50 million Powerball ticket sold in a Bucks County tobacco shop two weeks ago?
The winner has not claimed the prize, and the manager of the Fairless Hills store that sold the ticket says he doesn't know who it is, though he has some "suspects" in mind.
"It could be an elderly couple, or a couple of guys in their 20s," Ashok Kaul said Tuesday at Levittown News & Tobacco, which his brother-in-law owns. "It could be a guy who was wearing a camouflage jacket, like hunters wear, and glasses."
Each of those lottery players was a new customer Dec. 5, the day the ticket was sold. Another of Kaul's "suspects" is a middle-aged man who is an occasional customer at the store in the Fairless Hills Shopping Center. Kaul said he had not seen any of them since the drawing that night.
Kaul said he picked those customers from the 200 to 300 who buy lottery tickets each day by reviewing surveillance video. A state lottery official had narrowed the time of the ticket purchase to 12:45 to 1 p.m.
That ticket has all six winning numbers: 13, 17, 19, 27 and 38, and a Powerball of 12. The winner has one year from the drawing to claim the prize - a $50 million annuity or $33,134,526.18 in cash, less 25 percent federal withholding.
All the winner needs to do is sign the back of the ticket, call the state lottery at 717-702-8146, and file a claim at lottery headquarters in Middletown or any of seven regional offices.
Kaul thought he had the winner pegged - "a gentleman who comes in every other day and buys cigars." The customer did not show up at the store for a week, so Kaul figured he might be on vacation or might be the winner.
Then the customer showed up late last week at the store on South Oxford Valley Road and announced he was not the winner.
Even if the prize goes unclaimed, Kaul's brother-in-law, Rakesh "Rocky" Raina, will get a $100,000 bonus because his store sold the winning ticket, a state lottery spokeswoman said.
Raina has said he will share the money with his family and employees, and the local fire company, police department, and food banks.
Since the drawing, new customers have been stopping in to buy lottery tickets, hoping the small store will bring them "good luck," Kaul said.
The $50 million prize is the largest the store has produced in 19 years. Before that, its high was a $100,000 payoff for a $5 scratch-off ticket sold on Oct. 28.
Since the cigar-buying customer did not win, there's little chance he'll switch to Romeo y Julietas from the Dominican Republic, which go for $25.99 apiece, or some other exotic cigars.
"He always buys Dutch [Masters] Panetellas," which cost $5.89 for a box of five, Kaul said. "They're cheap domestic cigars."