It's been more than nine months since the last time anyone won the Pennsylvania Lottery's Super Six jackpot.
This may well be the most elusive jackpot of all time.
The last Super Six jackpot, won on Nov. 8, 2002, has been followed by 81 straight rollovers and now stands at $27.5 million. In the world of lottery jackpots, 20 rollovers is a long run. Eighty-one rollovers is astounding.
Not that there isn't a perfectly reasonable mathematical explanation.
It boils down to the fact that fewer people buy Super Six than they used to before Pennsylvania joined the multi-state Powerball alliance.
The odds of any single combination of six numbers coming up in a Super Six drawing is 39.9 million to one. That's because Super Six involves picking six numbers between one and 69 - a range in which 39.9 million six-number combinations are possible.
Every week, Super Six loyalists account for something under 4 million of those possible combinations. And that leaves more than 35 million combinations for which nobody has a ticket. When one of those unbought combinations is drawn, the jackpot rolls over.
Pennsylvania Lottery spokeswoman Cris Stambaugh says that even if Super Six hasn't paid out a jackpot since Nov. 8, it has in the past nine months paid out more than $8 million in lower-tier prizes, which range from $2 (three numbers) to several thousand (five numbers).
It's entirely possible, of course, that the jackpot will be won Friday night, when the next drawing is held.
But, if not, David Gale, executive director of the Association of State and Provincial Lotteries, thinks there may soon be an influx of additional Super Six bettors hoping to grab the jackpot, which would boost the likelihood of somebody picking the winning numbers.