The only winner of a drawing of more than US$ 2 billion (about R$ 10 billion) in the Powerball lottery, held in November last year, has not yet come forward to redeem the prize.
The winning ticket, which contains the six numbers drawn, was purchased at a convenience store in the city of Altadena, California (USA), by a gambler whose identity remains unknown, according to broadcaster KTLA in Los Angeles.
The sum of US$ 2.04 billion was accumulated after 41 draws without winners and became the largest lottery jackpot in world history. Carolyn Becker, a representative for the California Lottery, told People magazine that a winner’s identity is not revealed immediately for security reasons.
She also pointed out that if the winner doesn’t collect the prize, they still have about ten months to do so: “Powerball and Mega Millions top prize winners have up to a year to present themselves, and this particular win came about two and a half months ago in early November,” Becker said.
Under California law, the lottery is required to disclose the names of all prize winners and the amount won by them. Therefore, when the historic prize winner is identified, this will be made public. If the prize is not redeemed by any winner, the money will go to the state’s public school fund, per California policy.
However, some of the winners in history have already been identified: Joseph Chahayed, owner of the convenience store where the winning ticket was sold, received a $1 million bonus offered to sellers of winning tickets. Chahayed is a Syrian immigrant and grandfather of 10 grandchildren. According to the Los Angeles Times, he is known as “Papa Joe” in his neighborhood and said he was surprised and overjoyed by this achievement.