Customer buys Powerball ticket in Tampa in November.
(Photo: Chris O'Meara, AP)
ZEPHYRHILLS, Florida -- Along with the still unclaimed $590 million Powerball jackpot, there could be a $1 million winner in Pinellas Park.
A ticket from Saturday's drawing was sold in Pinellas Park, but has not been claimed yet, according to the Florida Lottery. Another $1 million prize, from a ticket sold at a Winn-Dixie in Jacksonville, will be awarded to 38-year-old Jeffery Geeting. He plans to split his Quick Pick earnings with a friend.
The ultimate lucky ticket, sold at a Publix in Zephyrhills on Saturday, has still not been claimed. The winner has 60 days to claim the ticket and be paid a lump sum of $370 million, or 180 days to come forward to get $440 million in installments over 30 years.
But Ronald Weir says he's a winner too, and he has the ticket to prove it. The Zephyrhills resident landed the Powerball, and got $12 -- not bad for a ticket he paid $3 for.
"There are two people in this town who won the Powerball, and what are the chances of that?" he asks. He says he'll spend his prize on some loaves of bread.
The Powerball has also been a ticket to fame for the city of Zephyrhills.
"It put us on the map, I think," Weir says.
"We're the luckiest town on the planet," adds Zephyrhills mayor Danny Burgess.
About 13,000 people live across the nine square miles of land that make up Zephyrhills. With such a tight-knit town, residents wonder if they've met the winner.
"Everyone knows everyone here in Zephyrhills," Burgess says. "This is the best kept secret in town. For once, a small town has kept a good secret."
The people of Zephyrhills feel like they've won the lottery in a way, with so many eyes on their city.
"It's nice that someone was fortunate enough to win it from this Publix store," says longtime Zephyrhills resident Irene Dobson. "That Publix is on the map and Zephyrhills is a big town now."
The hope now is that even after the Powerball party ends, people will still return.
"You all come again when there's nothing exciting going on and buy some groceries," Dobson says.