LONACONING, Md. - It's been just over five weeks since the drawing for the $731.1 million Powerball jackpot was held but the identity of the winner -- who bought the ticket in Maryland -- is still anyone's guess!
The January 20, 2021 jackpot was one of the biggest in state -- and Powerball -- history. But it's not unusual for winners to take their time before claiming a prize of this size.
Powerball Mascot/Maryland Lottery Public Affairs Specialist Bryan Kelly (left) holds check for the yet-to-be revealed Powerball jackpot winner, with Lottery District Sales Manager, Bill Wineland (right).
"Often, they use this time to get their affairs in order as they seek financial or legal advice and just let the reality of their big win sink in," Maryland Lottery and Gaming spokesperson Carole Gentry told FOX 5. Gentry said they always encourage anyone with a winning ticket -- especially a big winner like this one -- to sign the back of the ticket and keep it safe.
"In Maryland, winners may opt to remain anonymous, so even if they come forward, the public may never know their identity," Gentry added. But we do know the ticket was sold in Allegany County at the Coney Market in Lonaconing, Maryland. And earlier this week, Richard Ravenscroft, owner of store, claimed his $100,000 bonus check for selling the lucky numbers.
Maryland Lottery Public Relations Specialist, Doug Lloyd (center), presents Richard Ravenscroft (right), owner of Coney Market in Lonaconing, Maryland, with a $100,000 bonus check for selling the jackpot-winning Powerball ticket for the January 20, 2
In Maryland, winners typically have 182 days from the date of the drawing to claim their prize. However, Gentry said any ticket that expires during Maryland's COVID-19 state of emergency can still be claimed for up until 30 days after the state of emergency ends. "So there's plenty of time," she added.
But what if the winner never comes forward? What if the jackpot goes unclaimed?
"Each jurisdiction that sells Powerball contributes to the jackpot pool proportionally, based on its sales," Gentry said. "If the jackpot is not claimed, each jurisdiction would get its jackpot contribution back, and the money would be used according to each jurisdiction's rules regarding unclaimed prizes."
Every jurisdiction has different rules. But under Maryland law, the unclaimed prize money must be used for player prizes. Gentry told us Maryland's unclaimed prize fund is used to fund second-chance prizes and bonus prize promotions for the lottery's games.
Richard Ravenscroft (left), owner of Coney Market in Lonaconing, Maryland, stands in front of the Powerball Jackpot banner with Lottery District Sales Manager, Bill Wineland (right) as Powerball Mascot/Maryland Lottery Public Affairs Specialist Bryan