A California man lost his winning Powerball ticket, and he’s been racing against time to find it so he doesn’t forfeit the prize. The missing lottery ticket purchased back in September is worth a cool $1 million, but Powerball rules require winners of non-jackpot prizes to claim their money within 180 days — that means this guy may be out of luck.
According to the Los Angeles Times, California Lottery officials shared surveillance video footage online that shows the winning ticket holder purchasing the Powerball ticket at the Rosemead Supermarket on September 13, 2014. Employees at the store were able to identify the man, but he was unable to find the ticket by 5 p.m. on March 12 when the 180 day limit was up.
Fortunately, there’s a chance the ticket holder’s million dollar dreams may still come true, but he’s going to have to do some work to earn the cash.
— Veronica Rocha (@VeronicaRochaLA) March 12, 2015
The California State Lottery rules require all non-jackpot winners to claim their prize within 180 days from the date of the Powerball drawing. Unclaimed prizes are donated to the California school system.
However, if the $1 million ticket holder can prove he purchased the ticket back in September, lottery officials may end up giving him the money. According to NBC-4, the man will have to provide proof of ownership, but it won’t be easy. To prevent a fraudulent ticket claim, he will undergo some rather extensive interviews with lottery personnel to determine that he did, indeed, purchase the ticket.
The time limit to claim a winning Powerball ticket varies from state to state. The Multi-State Lottery Commission states that the claim period is set by each state lottery — it varies from 90 days to one year.
The current Powerball jackpot is $137 million, with the next drawing taking place on Saturday, March 14. There hasn’t been a winner since March 4 — if no one matches six numbers on Saturday, the jackpot will increase again to approximately $160 million.
Powerball tickets are $2 each and sold at lottery retailers in 44 states, Washington D.C., Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Drawings are held every Wednesday and Saturday at 11 p.m. If you purchase a ticket, make sure you keep it in a safe place so it doesn’t end up lost — you may miss out on a big pay day if you’re not careful.
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