Tomorrow Someone In Florida Will Lose The Chance To Collect $16M In Lottery Winnings

If you live in Florida you might want to start checking under the car seats, between the couch cushions and in the pocket of those pants you haven’t worn in awhile — there’s a $16 million Powerball jackpot sitting around just waiting for someone to claim it. But time is running out.

Lottery officials say if no one steps forward by tomorrow with the winning ticket, purchased last May at a suburban Tampa convenience store, it’ll be the largest unclaimed jackpot in Florida since 2003. Back then, a $53 million (gulp, sadness) went unclaimed in the Florida Lotto game, reports the Associated Press. STOP THE INSANITY! Do you not want to be rich, rich beyond your wildest dreams?!?!?

Residents in the neighborhood where the ticket was bought have come up with a few reasons no one has come forward: Maybe the winner is dead, or lost the ticket or just forgot and doesn’t live in Florida. We’d like to add reasons such as: Person got knocked on the head by a falling window A/C unit and is now suffering from amnesia; winner fell into a pit of snakes and has yet to climb back out, and a whole lot more.

No one wants to see the money wasted, including the owner of the store who says she wonders every day who it could be. She’s posted signs in her store’s windows reminding customers to check their Powerball tickets.

“The store is a neighborhood store, and pretty much 90 percent of our customers are regular customers,” she said. “We still have a little bit of hope that somebody will come before Thursday.”

So what’ll happen to all that cash if no one steps forward? It goes back into the state’s bucket.

“The funds to pay the unclaimed jackpot will be returned to the lottery members in their proportion of sales for the jackpot rollover series,” reads the state’s site. About 80% of that will go toward Florida’s education enhancement fund, while the rest will fund new games and promotions from the Florida Lottery.

In case you think you might be the winner, the winning numbers are 02, 06, 19, 21, 27 and a Powerball of 25, and the drawing was held Saturday, May 25.

I’m sad in advance. I hope the winner didn’t really fall into a pit of snakes or forget who they are because that’s just upsetting.

Lottery ticket worth $16 million about to expire in Florida [Associated Press]