By Alex Bridges -- firstname.lastname@example.org
MIDDLETOWN -- The winner of a $250,000 Mega Millions lottery ticket in Tuesday's drawing has yet to come forward.
Meanwhile, the 7-Eleven at 7600 Main St. in Middletown can lay claim to selling the winning ticket, according to a Mega Millions spokesman in Richmond.
"The only $250,000 winner in Virginia for Tuesday's drawing was that ticket," John Hagerty said.
The person who bought the winning ticket has 180 days from the date of the drawing to claim his or her prize, Hagerty added.
"Often when somebody wins $250,000, it might take a week or two for them to come in," Hagerty said. "When you win an amount of money like that it's a good idea to let the excitement cool a little bit and make some financial plans."
"Whoever has that ticket, before they do anything else, before they jump up and down and yell, they should sign the back of the ticket," Hagerty advised. "That establishes that person as the owner of that ticket."
The winning ticket holder receives $250,000 in a lump sum after the lottery deducts 25 percent for federal and 4 percent for state taxes.
No one has bought a winning ticket for the Mega Millions jackpot which hit a record $540 million as of Thursday.
"We've never seen anything like this in terms of the size of the jackpot or in terms of sales. We're seeing unprecedented sales in Virginia and nationwide," Hagerty said.
The Northern Shenandoah Valley region remains lucky in the Mega Millions lottery game. Of the seven jackpot winners in Virginia, two winning tickets were bought in the area, according to Hagerty. A Winchester man bought a ticket in Stephens City and a couple from Rappahannock County purchased a ticket in Front Royal, Hagerty said.
The store which sold the winning $250,000 ticket receives a prize of $750. Stores that sell tickets for winnings of $500,000 to $5 million receive a $10,000 prize. Sellers of jackpot winning tickets in excess of $5 million receive a $50,000 prize, Hagerty said.