SPRINGFIELD, Maine — If you bought a Megabucks lottery ticket at Smith’s General Store on Wednesday night, you might be $550,000 richer and not even know it.
Maine State Lottery officials told store owner Aaron Smith by lottery bulletin and telephone on Thursday that Wednesday’s winning ticket — numbers 10, 13, 20, 25, 31, 37, and bonus: 28 — was purchased at his store, but as far as he knows, no one has claimed it yet, he said.
“I wish we knew who it was,” Smith said Sunday. “Nobody’s come forth; nobody knows anything.”
Lottery officials did not immediately return telephone messages on Sunday seeking confirmation of Smith’s account. As of Sunday afternoon, the state lottery’s Web site, www.mainelottery.com, listed the winning numbers but did not state that the winning ticket or tickets had been sold or claimed.
The site lists Wednesday’s Jackpot as an estimated $550,000.
The five workers at Smith’s, 985 Main St., and their customers are almost besides themselves wondering who won, said Smith’s clerk Jan Burrill, 53, of Carroll Plantation.
“We have had a lot of calls and a lot of people come in and ask us all about it,” Burrill said Sunday. “It’s a small area, and people are saying, ‘Who is the winner? Is it somebody driving through? Is it somebody we know?’”
“I have been working here going on 21 years, and that’s the biggest winner we have ever had,” she added.
In Megabucks, players select six numbers from a field of 42 numbers, plus an optional bonus number. The winning numbers are drawn randomly Wednesdays and Saturdays. Saturday’s winners are listed as 5, 17, 21, 29, 33, 36, and bonus: 26. All tickets expire one year after they are drawn.
“My worst nightmare,” Smith said, “is for the person who may have lost it, can’t find it, burnt it, who knows? I am worried for somebody who could be a half-million richer and just threw it out the window.”
A tiny town midway on the 40-mile stretch along Route 6 between Lincoln and Topsfield, Springfield isn’t known for producing lottery winners, Burrill said. Compared to most stores, Smith’s lottery traffic is slight, with 500 to 1,000 tickets sold a week, Smith said.
“Most people can’t believe that somebody here won,” Burrill said. “This is, like, in the middle of nowhere and maybe somebody here won.”
Store workers contacted a rumored winner, but that person didn’t have a winning ticket, Smith said.
Smith and Burrill said they hope the winner does come forward to claim the $550,000, which, after state and federal taxes are collected, would net about $385,000. Not that the reduction counts for much, Burrill said.
“I can’t think of anybody who would say they didn’t want it,” she said.
“The person that did win, I hope that they use it wisely and besides making themselves happy, do something good with it,” Burrill added. “Help somebody that really needs to be helped. If I won that kind of money, I would find somebody that really needed help and I would help them.”