Desperate times called for desperate measures. New York Lottery officials wanted to find the the person who’d won a $7 million jackpot over a year ago, but who was also running out of time to claim their prize. If they didn’t, they’d wind up forfeiting the winnings.
In order to locate this individual, Lottery officials put out fliers in the Brooklyn neighborhood where the ticket had been sold on July 24, 2014.
“Is this you?” the fliers asked. “Male or female who is rich but doesn’t know it yet. Last seen at Canarsie’s Milky Way Deli.”
They even included an “artist’s drawing of the actual winner,” which was a stick figure with a baseball hat turned backwards.
Lottery officials knew that the design couldn’t actually be used to find the winner, but hoped that the fun approach would catch the eye of someone who knew the winner.
“Everyone, they wished to find the ticket,” Abdul Mallhi, an employee of the Milky Way Deli where the ticket was sold, told WABC.
If the winner did come forward, he or she could choose to accept their money in the form of a lump sum payout, or an annuity. If they choose the latter option, they’d receive annual payments that increase over time. The Powerball’s annuity payout schedule, for example, consists of 30 annual payments.
If the winner didn’t come forward to claim the prize by the July 24, 2015 deadline, the money would’ve been returned to the prize pool for future winners to subsidize prizes for jackpots, promotions, or special one-time games.
Mallhi told WABC that there have been a few customers who have come by the store claiming to be winners, saying that “They say [they won], but they don’t have the ticket.”
It’s still unknown whether or not the winner came forward or not — or if the sketch was an accurate depiction.