And so far, the money is not exactly burning a hole in the pocket(s) of the person or persons holding the ticket — purchased Christmas Eve at Wesley’s Restaurant, Cocktail Lounge & Liquor Store in Elkton.
The winner has 182 days to claim the prize. Tick, tock.
“We are just sitting here waiting, starting at the door,” Carole Everett, spokeswoman for the Maryland Lottery, just told me. “You’re at the mercy of the winner. All we can do is wait.”
Lottery workers are getting antsy. Their office is closed Friday and Monday — hear that, winner?
But there are no signs that the person or persons holding the ticket are even thinking about stopping by for their loot. By now, lottery workers often get a cryptic phone call from someone who says, “So, if the winner comes in what do they have to bring?”
“We haven’t got any of those calls,” Everett said.
There are no tea leaves to read.
So what’s taking so long?
There are theories.
One is that the winner craves privacy and is waiting until reporters lose interest (hah!) to come in and claim the cash anonymously . That will disappoint lottery workers. They get great kicks — and free advertising — out of big press conferences with newfound moneybags accepting a checks too large (in physical dimensions) for insertion into an ATM.
Another theory: The winner is still in shock. More theories: They are figuring out a tax plan, they are figuring out who to trust as an advisor, or (brace yourself) they don’t know that they have won. And that really does happen: Earlier this week, a winning $77 million Powerball ticket went unclaimed in Georgia.
There have been reports out of Wesley’s that a man called the store Christmas morning to ask for the winning numbers, then said he was the winner, but who knows whether that was a prank or not.
“I assume the winner knows who they are,” Everett said. “I can’t imagine they don’t know who they are.”
I’ve said it before and I will say it again: I’m not the winner.