A mystery Powerball player who is due $1 million in winnings has only hours left to collect their prize.
The ticket was bought in Westchester, New York, last year but it still remains unclaimed. If the owner of the lucky numbers doesn’t come forward by Sunday, the money will return into the system.
Lottery officials are now encouraging all players to check their tickets for the combination 1-6-7-20-49 and Powerball 23.
“We’re hopeful the lucky winner has already signed the ticket and is making plans to claim it before it’s too late,” Gardner Gurney, acting director of the Division of the Lottery told CNN.
The ticket was bought at the Playland Market in Rye on August 25, 2012. Ralph Alfalahi, who works at the store, told USA Today: “I have no idea who it is. I wish I knew.”
Ralph Alfalahi has even put a sign outside the deli reminding customers and passersby of the winning numbers from nearly a year ago.
The ticket was bought in Westchester, New York, last year but it still remains unclaimed
Meanwhile, lottery officials are also trying to find the winner – before it’s too late. The $1 million will go into a shared pool for future winners if it is not picked up by Sunday.
“We use the news media, social media and any other means possible to publicize the fact that it hasn’t been claimed yet and encourage players to check their tickets,” New York Lottery spokeswoman Christy Calicchia said.
The winner has to hand the lucky ticket in at a lottery service center or can post it in. As long as the mail is postmarked August 25 it will be valid for the prize.
Christy Calicchia said that the commission will be monitoring the post for last-minute claims. After federal and state taxes, this prize would amount to an estimated take-home $662,000.
Unclaimed prizes are more common than you might think. Last year there was $65 million in expired winnings in New York State alone.
In 2002, a single prize of $68 million went unclaimed in Brooklyn, the largest missed winnings in the state.
Christy Calicchia explained that lottery prizes are not picked up for a number of reasons, including tickets lost or destroyed in the wash.
The spokeswoman told CNN that players sometimes simply don’t realize that they have won.
“Most people don’t realize that there is more than one prize in the lottery drawing,” she said.
The Powerball lottery jackpot climbed to $400 million after nobody picked the winning numbers in Saturday’s draw.
Dreamers hoping to strike it rich quick plunked down $2 a ticket hoping to win the previous jackpot estimated to be at $300 million – but in vain.
The winning numbers for Saturday’s drawing were 21, 24, 36, 42, and 45, with the Powerball 15.
The jackpot was well below the eye-popping record of $590.5 million, won in May by an 84-year-old Florida widow.
But it was big enough to attract casual players who only buy tickets when they think the payoff is big and potentially life-changing.
The odds of matching all six numbers are 1 in 175,200,000.
Powerball is played in 43 states, Washington DC, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Powerball lottery jackpot climbed to $400 million after nobody picked the winning numbers
When it comes to choosing the winning combination of six numbers, some players use birthdates of family members, but nearly 80 per cent let the computer randomly pick the digits, according to ABC News.
That is the strategy that Gloria Mackenzie, 84, of Zephyrhills, Florida, used back in May, taking home close to $600 million – the largest prize for a sole winner in the history of U.S. lottery.
“While in line at Publix another lottery player was kind enough to let me go ahead of them in line to purchase the winning Quick Pick ticket,” she said in a statement, according to Florida lottery officials.
Of all the states that participate in the Powerball lottery, Indiana is the leader in the number of winners, coming in at 38, followed by Pennsylvania, Missouri, Minnesota and Kentucky.
If Wednesday’s jackpot doesn’t top $400 million, a single winner choosing the cash option would collect $230.3 million before taxes.
The last time that someone won the Powerball jackpot was June 22, Newsday reported. The lucky ticket was sold in Pennsylvania, earning its holder a prize of $131 million.
The largest jackpot in U.S. history stands at $656 million. It was won in March 2012 by participants in the Mega Millions lottery from Maryland, Kansas and Illinois.
An unclaimed $16.5 million winning lottery ticket from December 2010 has just hours to lose the payday.
If the $16.5 million Iowa Lottery ticket is forfeited it will be the second time this week that someone lost out on a million dollar payout.
On Monday, a $77 million lottery ticket went unclaimed in Georgia.
With each passing day, the Iowa Lottery receives more and more inquiries from those who wonder if they may have made the jackpot-winning purchase in Des Moines.
So far, no one has presented the winning ticket which is a requirement for claiming the prize.
The prize is so huge Iowa Lottery security investigators have even worked to identify the jackpot winner by tracking similar ticket purchase patterns.
Lottery CEO Terry Rich said: “It is sad to see this huge prize continue to sit there without being claimed. Someone legitimately won this money and we want them to take it home.
“But you must present the winning ticket to the lottery in order to claim the prize.”
“This has been an unusual story all the way around,” Terry Rich added.
“But we’re hoping that our reminders will cause someone to double-check their ticket and realize they’re the big winner before time runs out.”
Terry Rich said that the lottery does not release a ticket’s date or time of sale for security reasons.
“Some information is kept as our way to double-check that the winner is legitimate,” he said.
Iowa lottery has provided some key information that might jar a winner’s memory.
The Hot Lotto jackpot-winning ticket was purchased at Quik Trip, 4801 N.E. 14th St. in Des Moines. The lucky ticket matched all six numbers selected in the Hot Lotto drawing on December 29, 2010, to win the grand prize.
The winning numbers that night were 3-12-16-26-33 and Hot Ball 11.
Hot Lotto tickets in Iowa expire a year from the date of the drawing in which a prize is won, so the jackpot prize will expire at 4:00 p.m. on Thursday if it isn’t claimed by then.
In Iowa, the money from unclaimed prizes goes into the lottery’s prize pools for future games.
Iowa would get back about $1.3 million if this prize were to go unclaimed.