A New Jersey lottery player bought a winning Mega Millions ticket worth $250,000. But there’s only one problem. He or she doesn’t even know it.
The ticket, purchased in March of 2012, expires today. It was originally sold at VR Supermarket, 113 Main Avenue in Passaic County. The winning numbers are 06, 17, 19, 20, 21 and the Gold Mega Ball number is 20 and Megaplier Multiplier number is 4. As of Saturday night, no one came forward as the winner.
“I tell people, 'Check your wallet, clean out the drawers, dig in your pockets…you never know,'” said Judith Drucker of the New Jersey State Lottery. “You can always check our website to see if you won.”
Drucker says out of the $2.7 billion in winnings in 2012, $37.7 million went unclaimed. While winners have up to a year to cash in their prize, when they actually do runs the gamut, according to Drucker.
“We had one man that won $1 million and he did not claim his money until eight months later,” Drucker said. “I asked him ‘what took you so long?’ He told me that he buys the tickets and dumps them in a drawer (at home), lets them pile up, and checks them when he’s ready. Then I get the winners that watch the drawing the night before and the next morning they’re at our doorstep. But some of the winners we never meet.”
Unclaimed lottery money in New Jersey goes to disabled veterans, school nutrition programs, psychiatric hospitals and education. In Pennsylvania it goes to programs that support seniors, including public transportation, prescriptions, rent rebates, and other area agencies.
As the Mega Millions ticket expires, people across the country are hoping to pick the winning Powerball ticket and the huge jackpot that comes with it.
No ticket matched the six winning Powerball numbers in Wednesday night’s drawing.
Neil Watson with the Nebraska Lottery says the current estimated jackpot of $320 million seems to be holding strong. The lump-sum cash option is $198.3 million.
Lottery officials say the current jackpot is the sixth highest in history. No one has won the Powerball jackpot since early February.