Bluefield Daily Telegraph
Though the drawing is scheduled for tonight, lottery officials said it could be hours before it is known if a winning ticket was sold and even longer before the winner of the more than $550 million jackpot comes forward.
Randy Burnside, public relations and drawings manager for the West Virginia Lottery, said computers help lottery officials know if and when a winning ticket was sold.
“It takes several hours to know if a winning ticket has been drawn,” Burnside said. “We usually know several hours after midnight. The system is all computerized, and all states have their own computer system. Each state reports their findings to the national group, which then sees if any ticket matching the numbers was sold. That lets us know if we have a total winner or a million dollar winner and so on. The computerized system is also how we pinpoint where the winning ticket is sold. We can pinpoint the time and location of when it is sold.”
However, Burnside said there is no way of knowing how soon the winner will come forward.
“It varies on how long someone comes forward to claim the ticket,” he said. “It can be the next day; it could be several days or weeks. Sometimes, the person forgets they bought the ticket. Other times they are taking time to seek out legal representation and financial advice.”