A woman in California might have missed out on a $26 million fortune, after placing her California Lottery ticket in her pants and having it destroyed in the laundry. Sold at an Arco AM/PM convenience store in the Los Angeles suburb of Norwalk, the winning SuperLotto Plus was supposed to be redeemed Thursday - yet no one came forward to redeem it.
Esperanza Hernandez, an employee at the store, told the Whittier Daily News a woman came in Wednesday explaining the ticket had been destroyed in the laundry. According to the store’s manager, surveillance video shows the woman purchasing the ticket and that store employees recognize her.
The video was later turned over to California Lottery officials and is currently be investigated, the manager told KTLA-TV.
If someone believes he or she is the winner of a lottery ticket, lottery officials say they must complete a claim form. However, if someone loses a ticket, evidence must be provided to prove that they owned it, including a photo of the front and back of the ticket.
The winning numbers of the lottery were: 23, 36, 12, 31, 13, and the mega number of 10.
The $26 million prize can be distributed in annual installments or as a $19.7 million cash option. If the prize isn’t claimed, the $19.7 million will go to California public schools. In addition, the store that sold the ticket will receive a $130,000 bonus.
While it’s rare for large jackpots to go unclaimed, it isn’t impossible.
Since 1997, four prizes of $20 million or more haven’t been claimed. This includes a $63 million prize from 2015, Jorge De La Cruz, a lottery spokesman told the Los Angeles Times.