ZEPHYRHILLS, Fla. - In a tiny town of 13,000 people, word can travel quickly. Especially when someone in this Pasco County community could claim a prize worth 12 times the city's annual $49 million budget.
"Do you think you know who it is?" I asked Jonathon Rocha. "No," he responded. "I don't. No clue."
Over at the point-of-purchase Publix, we tried to track down rumors that a bag boy bought winning ticket, but no employees were allowed to talk with us, leaving us to ask others, like Barbara Waters.
"I wish I did, but no," she said. "I don't have any idea. Nobody knows anything."
So I started thinking, What would a big-buck winner do? Head to the bank? Maybe. But there is no sign of any unusual account activities anywhere in town.
Then I figured a financial planner could have a clue.
"So has anybody come in here looking for advice?" I asked Financial Advisor Ralph Sevelius.
"They haven't," he said. "Not today. But I do recommend that the person who has won the Lotto seek out the advice of a financial advisor."
Or maybe a Realtor.
"Anyone come in asking about getting the biggest, best house in the city?" I asked Michael Prilliman.
"Not yet," he answered. "But we expect them to. We're waiting on 'em."
Down at the liquor store, Harry Patel was waiting for a big booze buy, maybe something top shelf. But all he's heard are the rumors.
Patel said he heard about the big winner. "A 24-years-old lady," he said. "You know, single mom won the ticket and I don't know if its true or not, but they put it on Facebook."
And the posts are pointing toward a Wal-Mart worker. At least that's what Charlia Compton heard.
"I don't know, I walked up on the conversation, that's all I know," she said. "That's all that anyone's talking about around here. That's it."
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