Somewhere out there, is there a winner frantically checking their US Powerball tickets to see if they had won a share of that insane, record-shattering $1.6 billion jackpot? The Florida Lottery would like to think so, as no third ticket holder for the US Powerball has been located, or come forward to claim their prize.
More than $520 million may slip through someone's fingers...
Florida lottery officials have stated that it's not unheard of for lottery winners to take their time in submitting their win.
"The winner [may want] to get their affairs in order, or seek an attorney. It's a life-changing amount of money, so [the winner] just may be seeking legal counsel or maybe waiting for media interest to die down."
The billion-dollar US Powerball draw took place 13 January 2016 and only a Tennessee family has claimed ownership on its winning tickets. There are two more tickets, the aforementioned Florida ticket, and a ticket in California that are still unclaimed. The reason for the US Powerball's jackpot immense growth is because of October 2015's new lottery rules - essentially, more numbers were added to the draw which created higher odds. And as such, the lottery jackpot continued to rocket into the billions.
The Florida lottery explains that the winner may wait up to six weeks to claim the cash prize, but they cannot wait too long, as they have 180 days from the draw date to make their claim. The official rules state that winners have 60 days to come forward, but if they do not, they are allowed another 120 days. Yet at that juncture, they cannot have the money as a lump sum, but only as an annuity (in this case, after Federal taxes it works out to about $8 million per year over 29 years).
This is officially the largest jackpot in US history. In Europe, it's another story as its yearly raffles, such as the El Gordo had a jackpot of $2.4 billion in 2015. The difference though is that no single winner wins this jackpot, but instead it is shared amongst thousands of winners who all hold the same raffle number.