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Lottery officials are playing the waiting game after three winning Powerball tickets were snagged in North Carolina, Texas and Puerto Rico. None of the newly minted millionaires, who will split a jackpot of $564.1 million, had come forward Thursday afternoon. But winners generally have 180 days to turn in tickets, which means plenty of time to get their affairs in order.
The winning ticket in Texas was sold at Appletree Food Mart in Princeton, north of Dallas, while someone in North Carolina bought the lucky numbers at the Scotchman in Shallotte, Brunswick County. They were 11, 13, 25, 39 and 54, with a Powerball number of 19. In addition, 33 players matched all but the Powerball and are eligible for $1 million.
"If you have the winning ticket, sign the back of the ticket, put it in a safe place and contact us as soon as possible," Gary Grief, executive director of the Texas Lottery, said in a statement. Officials planned to hold a news conference Thursday afternoon.
Six states — Delaware, Kansas, Maryland, North Dakota, Ohio and South Carolina — allow winners to remain anonymous, and other states permit it in rare exceptions. The winners in North Carolina and Puerto Rico will have to come forward, although in Texas, lottery winners can claim the prize through a trustee who can act as their public representative.
The Powerball jackpot soared over the past two months to become the fifth-largest lottery prize in U.S. history. For selling a winning ticket, Appletree Food Mart owner Chandra Siwakoti could get a bonus of up to $1 million, reported NBC Dallas-Fort Worth. He told the station he had no idea his store was a lucky location until media outlets began showing up. "I can't stop smiling," he said.