There's a millionaire on the loose in Harrington, Delaware and lottery officials are pulling out all the stops to figure out who it is.
And they've been looking since Jan. 27.
That's when lottery officials learned that the $7.7 million winning Lotto ticket was sold at the Bridle Bit, a liquor store on U.S. 13 in Harrington.
"We haven't seen a winner up here yet," said Brian Peters, a spokesman for the Delaware Lottery. "We try and beat the bushes after we have a winner, but sometimes it takes a while for players to realize they have a winning ticket."
Some Harrington residents just aren't buying that theory.
Barbara Arnold, an employee at Dunkin' Donuts in Harrington, thinks she may have an idea about why the largest jackpot in the game's history is still unredeemed.
"Maybe when they hit it they got so excited that they had a heart attack," Ms. Arnold said with a hearty laugh. "I would have passed out if it was me. Oh, my goodness!"
Stacy Gallo of Harrington, who said he is a regular lottery player who has often purchased tickets from the Bridle Bit, believes the ticket is lost.
"Somebody lost it," Mr. Gallo stated simply while waiting in line to purchase coffee and doughnuts Tuesday morning.
And while it may be lost for now, James Plummer of Harrington, thinks the ticket made its way to a landfill or that the winner just doesn't know he (or she) is a winner yet.
"Either somebody threw it away or they haven't checked the numbers yet," Mr. Plummer said. "It might have been me. No, wait, I don't buy lottery tickets."
Willie Turner of Harrington thinks the winner will turn up eventually.
"Somebody probably don't even know they have it," Mr. Turner said. "They are probably carrying that ticket around in their pocket and haven't checked it yet."
James Blodgett, an associate at Best Ace Hardware, thinks the winner already knows and is playing his hand slowly and methodically before claiming the jackpot.
"I think they are talking to their attorney," Mr. Blodgett said.
The store's manager, Doug Kemp, agrees.
"It ain't lost," Mr. Kemp said. "Somebody's got that ticket."
The mystery is enough to drive Ms. Arnold crazy.
"I wish it was my ticket," she said. "Oh my goodness would I be a happy woman! I hope whoever's got it is related to me."
Mr. Peters said lottery officials are doing all they can to find the ticket holder.
"We dropped an ad in the Sunday (Delaware) State News calling out to Harrington to check your tickets. There's a tendency for players to say, 'it wouldn't be me'. But anybody who was in Harrington on Jan. 26 and purchased a ticket at the Bridle Bit should check it out."
The drawing was the last in the Delaware Lottery's old Lotto format. The winning numbers were 01, 08, 13, 27, 35, 37.
Beginning Jan. 28, the lottery unveiled a new $2 game, Multi-Win Lotto, in which players get 18 numbers on a ticket to match the six that are drawn.
If you think that you may have the winning ticket, numbers can be checked by visiting the Delaware Lottery Results page at Lottery Post or by calling (800) 338-6200.