A $23M question: Who bought winning California lotto ticket?
This surveillance image shows a woman they believe won a $23-million jackpot on a SuperLotto Plus ticket she purchased five months ago at an east Palmdale convenience store but she hasn't cashed it yet. (AP / California Lottery)
The Associated Press
Published Thursday, November 1, 2012 10:46AM EDT
LOS ANGELES -- A woman who California lottery officials believe purchased a ticket worth $23 million has less than a month to claim the jackpot.
The winning ticket from Michael's Market & Liquor in Palmdale is believed to have been sold to a dark-haired woman in a blue or purple top on May 30, spokesman Alex Traverso said Wednesday.
Lottery officials used surveillance video to narrow it down to the woman as the likely purchaser.
"We want our winners to be able to actually collect the prizes they've won," Traverso said. Winners have 180 days to claim their prize.
If the ticket isn't claimed by Nov. 26, the unclaimed millions will be given to California schools.
A $52 million jackpot winner in Fremont was found in August by a public appeal.
"He and his wife saw a picture of him on the news that night and came in the next day to claim the prize," Traverso said.
Liquor store manager Ben Sadi said there is an oversized check and signs around the store about the jackpot win, but he said he doesn't think the woman has been back.
Still, the winning ticket has been a stroke of good luck for the store's owners. The store received a bonus of one half per cent of the prize, or $115,000, for selling the winning ticket.
"We sold the ticket the third week after our official day of opening the store," said Sadi.
Since news of the winning ticket got out, business has picked up a lot.
"There are a lot of people that drove a long way to come buy tickets here," said Sadi.
In the last fiscal year, officials say more than $20.5 million in cash prizes went unclaimed.