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One ticket wins $81M California lottery jackpot

Jan 14, 2005, 10:57 am

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California Lottery

One ticket purchased in Orange had all the numbers drawn for an $81 million jackpot in the mid-week SuperLotto Plus game, California Lottery officials said Thursday.

The numbers drawn Wednesday night were 3, 17, 20, 28, 44 and mega-number 21. The winning ticket was purchased at a 7-Eleven at 4427 E. Chapman Ave. in Orange, according to lottery officials.

This is the third time a winning jackpot ticket has been purchased at a 7-Eleven in the City of Orange.

The identity of the winner, or winners, was not immediately known.

"We're ready and waiting to process the ticket," said Lottery Director Chon Gutierrez. "We hope the person is just waiting for the shock of winning to sink in a bit and will call us soon. But there's the real possibility that he or she hasn't checked their ticket yet and doesn't know they're now one of the richest people in California," he said.

"All that person has to do is call us or take the ticket into a California Lottery District Office for verification and we'll take care of the rest. It's a job we absolutely love to do," he said.

The winner will have 180 days to claim the jackpot. The winner chose annual payments with the first payment being more than $2 million and the 26th payment being more than $4.1 million before federal withholding.

In contrast, the single-payment cash value would equal roughly half of the jackpot, or $40.5 million, the amount the Lottery would invest to pay out the jackpot prize over 26 years.

If the prize is unclaimed after 180 days, the money will go to California's schools. As it is, the California public education system stands to collect some $51 million as a result of yesterday's drawing. In all, there were 1.1 million additional tickets sold that won smaller cash prizes.

"We hope the winner contacts us as soon as possible," said Gutierrez. "What a great way to start the New Year!"

For selling a single winning $81 million ticket, the retailer will receive a $405,000 bonus.

The next drawing will be Saturday night, when the jackpot will be at $7 million.

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