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Delaware Lottery looking for $7.7 million winner

Delaware LotteryDelaware Lottery: Delaware Lottery looking for $7.7 million winner

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.


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5 comments. Last comment 12 years ago by ajaxdog.
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DoctorEw220's avatar - alien helmet.jpg
Yinzer Country, PA
United States
Member #4067
March 18, 2004
2741 Posts
Posted: February 11, 2005, 4:13 pm - IP Logged

DE needs to learn to be patient. Compared to normal Lotto jackpots, this is quite a bit. The winner may want to consult a financial planner before claiming their ticket, even though the winner doesn't have the option of choosing cash or annuity. They may just want to know what to do with their money.

I've redone my website.  Go to www.dr-ew.com.  I kept a lot of the old stuff, and I've added some new stuff.  Look for more new stuff in the coming weeks.

    lottobrain's avatar - box
    Smyrna, DE
    United States
    Member #10074
    January 1, 2005
    127 Posts
    Posted: February 11, 2005, 10:55 pm - IP Logged

    After reading this article earlier this evening, I have since looked through the two main papers in Delaware, The News Journal and the Delaware State News, and I couldn't find it in either. Perhaps I missed it. I think the article seemed to indicate that the lottery was trying to concentrate on the Harrington area to locate the winner.  I was told that where the ticket was sold is very near the casino at the fair grounds and is also on the main highway leading north and south through Delaware. If there is a winning ticket, and believe me, the are a lot of players in Delaware who are skeptical, particularly after the previous $5 million jackpot going unclaimed after it went on an on week after week with no winning ticket being sold, it may have been purchased by someone passing through the state who lives in VA, NC, or other parts south. The $5 million was also sold at a liquor store as was this one, strange that the two largest lotto jackpots ever in the state of DE were both sold at liquor stores when just the other day on the radio, the lottery director said that liquor stores were not a large percentage of the retail outlets. For conspiracy theories, a convenient excuse that an intoxicated person perhaps bought the ticket and washed it away in his work clothes, etc.  The $5 million was not offered up in any part to the players in another drawing, but was returned to the state coffers. Also when it came time for the deadline on the drawing, only a little blurb in the Sat. paper the day before the expiration was offered and stated that the lottery would honor the ticket the following Monday up to 4:30pm since they were closed on Sunday.  Most states bend over backwards when there is a lotto due to expire with ads on TV, radio, and in the papers for several weeks before the expiration.  I say that if no one claims this one before expiration, then the lottery should again offer the $7.7 million in a "rolldown" jackpot to the loyal players of the state that put a lot of money into buying those tickets, and that includes myself.


      United States
      Member #972
      December 30, 2002
      465 Posts
      Posted: February 14, 2005, 10:40 am - IP Logged

      It's been less than 3 weeks and the lottery is "pulling out all the stops"? Some people like to plan out their next move, get legal/tax advice and get everything organized before getting the check and publicity. This is a life changing amount of money.

        lottobrain's avatar - box
        Smyrna, DE
        United States
        Member #10074
        January 1, 2005
        127 Posts
        Posted: February 14, 2005, 6:36 pm - IP Logged

        Well I hope that someone does claim this jackpot and put the whole thing to rest. In Dewaware one does not have to give their name as the whole thing is anonymous if they desire it, so the state seldom gets any publicity out of the winner.  In the past couple of years, because of this, the lottery has even stopped putting any kind of notice in the paper that the jackpot had been claimed by someone.  I wrote to them about this and they used the anonymity as an excuse for not doing so, though a few years back they would always post something in general about the person and their general place of residence, etc.  I would expect some kind of article in the paper this time if someone claims it since there has been a big uproar from the players over the lotto.

          New Member
          United States
          Member #11479
          February 14, 2005
          8 Posts
          Posted: February 14, 2005, 11:56 pm - IP Logged

          My first post! I Hate to say it, but if I were to win that amount of money I would take advantage of one of the few benefits of living and playing lottery in Delaware. Too many good people end up in personal train wrecks after winning this kind of money. I've had the good fortune to have to visit the Dover office three times to claim Play 4 prizes, and twice to claim play 3 prizes my retailer wouldn't pay ove rthe past 15 years. They've tried to get me to sign the release every time, but I like a low profile. There's only about ten people working in that office as far as I could tell, but the security is really tight. I had to sit outside, then in a locked entry room, then to a simple little office. I read the Delaware State News every day and it seems like they only post negative stuff about delaware politics and government. I also read all the press releases the lottery puts on their site, so maybe the state news just chooses not to write stories about the lottery. Fine with me. Guess I' going to have to go to Harrington tomorrow to sweep a few gutters out front of the Bridle Bit. I'm starting to wonder if its a slot player from Maryland or Virginia who bought a bottle on the way home after going to Midway Slots.