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Calif. man knew he won $1M but lost the lottery ticket

Mar 13, 2015, 2:32 pm

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By Todd Northrop

A California Lottery winner lost out on the opportunity to claim his $1 million Powerball prize after he misplaced his ticket.

The man saw news reports about himself buying the ticket in Rosemead and came forward, saying he was the winner, KABC-TV reported.  But, he said, he lost his ticket.

Because Powerball rules require the winner to produce the actual winning ticket, he was ineligible to collect his winnings, California Lottery spokesman Alex Traverso said.

"We believe the man who came forward yesterday was the actual guy in the surveillance footage," Traverso said," but unfortunately, in Powerball rules, you have to have a physical ticket to win."

Traverso said they had been searching for the winner of the prize money since the drawing Sept. 13, 2014.

It turns out the only winner will be the California education system.

By law, all unclaimed prize money automatically goes to California public schools.

Lottery officials had tried to identify the man and distributed surveillance video footage in the hopes of finding the winner of the winning lottery ticket worth $1,098,624.

The winning ticket was purchased Sept. 13 at Rosemead Supermarket in the 8800 block of East Valley Boulevard back in September. The ticket had all five numbers (1, 6, 16, 37, and 53), but not the Powerball number 27.

The winner had 180 days to claim the ticket, and Thursday was the last day.

The Rosemead Supermarket was still allowed to collect a $5,493 bonus for selling the winning ticket, officials said.

The California Lottery said nearly $800 million in prize money has gone unclaimed in the organization's 30-year history, with $20 million going unclaimed in the 2013-14 fiscal year.

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