The winner of a $1 million Mega Millions tickets has yet to claim the prize, according to officials with West Virginia Lottery.
West Virginia Lottery Director John Musgrave announced last week the ticket was sold on Dec. 17 at the 7-Eleven in Belle, WV.
More than a week later, the mystery millionaire continues to dominate conversation in the areas surrounding Belle. A similar question seems to be on almost everyone's mind: Why wait to claim the prize?
"It's crazy. It's crazy," said Michael Summerfield, of Belle. "It's all anybody's talking about."
Rumors and speculation swirled around gas stations, convenience stores, even on the street. Some suspect the winner is waiting for the frenzy to die down before announcing his/her identity. Others said it's possible the winner lost the ticket. A few people said they think the winner mailed the ticket as a gift to someone else.
The person or persons must claim the prize within 180 days of the drawing, according to Nicky Orcutt with West Virginia Lottery.
Orcutt said the ticket sold last week belongs to the fifth $1 million Mega Millions jackpot game prize winner in West Virginia during 2013--and the first Mega Millions winner of the year. The other four players won the "matching five" component on the Powerball game.
Whoever claims the prize will be the the sixtieth winner to claim a prize worth $1 million or more in lottery history.
The 7-Eleven in Belle will also receive a $10,000 bonus for selling the winning ticket. The retail location receives the money once someone claims the prize or the 180 days expire.
Officials say those who think they might have won should sign their ticket immediately, and contact West Virginia Lottery at 304-558-0500.