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    $25M Powerball ticket sold in Arkansas

    7:10 PM, Jan 4, 2010   |    comments
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    It's the buzz around town in Mayflower, Arkansas.

    "It is a wild story. It really is," says Lewis Gardner,Jr.

    The population is just over 1,600. Not much happens in Mayflower.

    "This is a hoax. It can't be," says Gardner.

    But Monday, they're getting big city attention.

    "Good afternoon everybody. Welcome to Mayflower, Arkansas," says Lottery Director Ernie Passailaigue.

    At the Crackerbox 25 convenience store on Highway 365, reporters and photographers gathered. The developing news? It's a $25 million Powerball jackpot prize.

    As of Monday night, the winner is still a mystery.

    Mayflower resident Robert Skinner says, "How come I didn't win it? I didn't get no ticket."

    Skinner showed up at the store just to get in on all the hype and says the anticipation is all around town.

    "They want to know where the guy is that won the money," he says.

    What Today's THV does know from Passailaigue is the lucky person bought the ticket at the Crackerbox 25.

    "They have 180 days from the day of the sale to the day to show up and claim their prize. So it could be today, it could be tomorrow. It could be next week," Passailaigue says.

    It's not just good news for the winner, the owner of the store is also profiting. By state law, the retailer must be awarded $50,000 just for selling the ticket.

    Lewis Gardner and his son own 29 Crackerbox stores across Arkansas.

    Gardner says, "When we get it, we will pay our tithes and pay a few bills and go on."

    As for if they'll reward the employee that sold the ticket, Gardner Jr. says, "This is all new to me, so I don't know the answer to that. It all depends on if I can find out which clerk sold it."

    Who sold it? Who won it? They're all mysteries to be solved in due time.

    Lottery officials say they know the day and time the ticket was sold, but they're not releasing that information.

    The winning Powerball numbers can be seen every Wednesday and Saturday on the "THV 10:00 Difference."

    Gardner and his employees at the Crackerbox believe the winner may live in the city of Mayflower because the store is a mile from the interstate exit.
    The winner can choose between a 29-year payout or a lump sum payment of more than $12 million.
    Arkansas began selling Powerball tickets on Oct. 31.
    (Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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