The Mega Millions winner watch in Rutherford, New Jersey, entered day two yesterday with much anticipation but without anyone stepping forward to claim the $250 million jackpot.
Yogi Patel, owner of the Leprechaun News II store where the winning ticket was sold at about noon on Friday, bundled newspapers in twine and spoke of the newfound fame for his business.
"People are happy when they find out somebody won from my store," Patel said. "Business is increasing. People are now thinking this store is lucky."
Rutherford Council President George Fecanin said the mystery lottery winner was the talk of the town as he went door-to-door yesterday as part of his re-election campaign.
"The whole town is excited. Everybody's happy and they hope that somebody from Rutherford did win, and somebody who really needs it," Fecanin said. "It puts Rutherford on the map, a little town like Rutherford."
The winner, of course, may not be from the Bergen County borough because the Leprechaun News II is next door to the train station, after all.
"It could be somebody just coming through on the train, not a resident," Fecanin said.
Still, the town is abuzz and the answer to the million-dollar question could come as early as this morning when the state lottery offices open in Trenton.
"We've had people arrive in limos," said New Jersey Lottery spokesman Dominick DeMarco. "But they can drive themselves in their own cars, or if they're too nervous to drive they can get a friend to drive them. As long as they get there, it's fine."
The first thing lottery officials will do once a winner comes forward is check to make sure that the ticket is real and that it's held by its legitimate owner, he said.
"When there's a quarter of a billion dollars at stake, it's good to be sure," DeMarco said. In the interim, DeMarco recommended the winner sign the back of the ticket.
The winning numbers were 5, 16, 41, 46 and 50, with the gold Mega ball number 1. The cash value of the jackpot is $151,331,750, which, after federal taxes, would be worth about $113 million. If the winner selected the annuity option, the initial check would be $9,625,000 and with annual payments of $9,615,000 for 25 years.