Part of a lottery mystery worth $61 million has been solved. Officials with Lottery Tennessee announced Tuesday that the winning Mega Millions ticket was sold last week at a Bellevue gas station.
Someone bought the ticket at Bellevue Shell on Old Harding Pike and won the $61 million jackpot after the drawing Jan. 3.
The winner has not yet come forward.
"Sometimes winners are waiting on my doorstep the next morning. Some wait until the last day. You have 180 days to claim your prize," said lottery CEO Rebecca Hargrove.
The winner, if he or she takes a lump-sum cash payout, walks away with about $24.5 million after taxes.
The person who won is the first Mega Millions jackpot winner in Tennessee since the state began offering the game in January 2010.
And the Shell station's owner says 99 percent of his customers are local, so there is a good chance a winner is nearby.
As a reward for selling the winning ticket, the business will receive $25,000.
And the mystery of who won is the buzz around Bellevue's City Limits Cafe.
"Who knows what this person might do for Bellevue and Nashville? It would be really cool," said Tom Driber, of Bellevue.
"Build us a new middle school. Build us a high school," said Linda Prater, of Bellevue.
And the lottery's CEO likes to point out that Tennessee's lottery has already been a winner for Tennessee college students. So far, some 800,000 students have been awarded more than $2.8 billion in lottery scholarships.
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