Whenever someone who won a significant lottery jackpot fails to come forward and claim his money, the prize is returned to the lottery which uses it for good causes. While this is not such a terrible outcome, for the ones lucky enough to match the winning numbers, it is quite a shame to forsake his good fortune so easily. This is exactly what is about to happen in Idaho, where a winning ticket will expire on Friday at 3 PM, if the holder doesn’t step into the light and claim the prize.
Lottery officials joined the search
One would suspect that a year should be enough for any lottery winner to decide whether he wishes to make things public or keep his anonymity. In this particular case, the tickets expire even later, but for the one who bought the winning ticket on June 20, 2011, this time frame is obviously insufficient. Lottery officials are making an appeal for all lottery players who check their tickets and if they discover the winning one, to give them a call immediately.
The winner has to arrive at Idaho Lottery Headquarters with his tickets to be eligible for the prize, because it is not too late to claim that it was lost or destroyed. The winning numbers back then were 57, 56, 29, 17, and 11, with the Powerball being 14 although the latter wasn’t matched. The lottery enjoyed a lot of support from local newspapers and TV stations, as all of them joined forces to launch a comprehensive campaign meant to bring the winner forward.
Time is quickly running out
Unfortunately, in most similar cases when the winner doesn’t act in any way until the final days, the fate of the ticket is sealed. Whether it was lost or destroyed before the winner realized that he was holding a scrap of paper worth $1 million, the most likely result is for no winner to be found. Idaho public schools and other permanent buildings will benefit from this money if nothing happens in the next 48 hours.
Lottery officials reminded players to do their due diligence and never assume that their lottery ticket is a loser, simply because they haven’t matched the Powerball. It is a fairly common situation, with lottery players discarding their ticket because they assume that it is worthless without matching the most important ball. This wouldn’t be the first time when a winning ticket is not claimed in Idaho, with another $1 million Powerball ticket being unclaimed in 2010 and two other Match 5 tickets having the same fate.