It’s now been six months since someone purchased a Hot Lotto ticket in Iowa worth $16.5 million. Iowa Lottery spokesperson Mary Neubauer says the prize remains unclaimed. “We also know that ticket has never been checked on a lottery terminal in Iowa,” Neubauer said. “So, we think it’s still the case that it’s possible whoever this winner is doesn’t know they’ve won this huge amount of money.”

The winning ticket matched all six Hot Lotto numbers on the December 29 drawing. It was purchased at a Quik Trip store in Des Moines at 4801 NE 14th St. Neubauer says the $16.5 million jackpot is the third largest prize ever offered in the Hot Lotto game and it’s seventh largest prize won in the history of the Iowa Lottery. It’s also one of the biggest unclaimed prizes ever among U.S. lotteries.

The clock is ticking on the deadline for the jackpot winner to come forward with the ticket. “There are still six months to go,” Neubauer said. “Hot Lotto tickets in Iowa expire one year from the date of the drawing in which the prize was won. So there is time, it’s just that it’s been a really long time since this prize was won and it’s unusual that we haven’t heard from anyone yet.”

No jackpot winner in Iowa Lottery history has ever taken this long to claim their prize. Lottery officials have heard from people who claimed to have the ticket, but may have lost it, had it stolen or had it ruined by putting it through the wash. Neubauer says the lottery does not release a ticket’s date or time of sale for security reasons.

The winning Hot Lotto numbers selected on December 29 were: 3-12-16-26-33 and Hot Ball 11.