No one submits verified claim for $63M lottery prize
Customers wait to buy lottery tickets at the Blue Bird liquor store in Hawthorne, Calif. on Jan. 13, 2016. (AP / Damian Dovarganes)
Robert Jablon, The Associated Press
Published Thursday, February 4, 2016 11:29PM EST
Last Updated Friday, February 5, 2016 8:20AM EST
LOS ANGELES -- Luck may have run out for the winner of a California Lottery jackpot: The person has apparently let $63 million slip away.
Nobody showed up at a state lottery office by 5 p.m. Thursday with the ticket or submitted a verified claim for the prize, lottery spokesman Alex Traverso said.
A lawsuit filed Wednesday in Los Angeles seeks to have a judge declare a winner. Brandy Milliner contends he already turned in the ticket, but officials told him it was too damaged to be processed.
Traverso said the lottery is looking into the claim.
"We do have some claims to investigate," he said in an email shortly before the 5.p.m deadline. "So we can say as of right now, no one has come forward with the winning ticket. But we have had lots of inquiries and the potential for more claims."
If none of the claims pan out, it will be the largest unclaimed prize in California Lottery history and the money will go to the state's schools.
Lottery officials had sent out repeated calls for the winner to contact them, and media coverage ramped up as the deadline dwindled to days and then hours.
"If by some miracle you happen to find this extremely valuable piece of paper, the California Lottery urges you to sign your ticket in ink and get it to one of our lottery district offices," a Wednesday statement said.
The SuperLotto Plus ticket was sold on Aug. 8 at a 7-Eleven store in Los Angeles. The winning numbers were: 46-1-33-30-16 and the Mega number: 24.
A California winner also has not come forward to share in the Jan. 13 multistate Powerball prize of $1.6 billion. Two other winning tickets were sold in Florida and Tennessee, but only the Tennessee winners have claimed their cash so far.
Those claiming to be California Lottery jackpot winners routinely face an investigation to determine their credibility. "Especially when you're talking about millions and millions of dollars, those aren't just processed through with a rubber stamp," Traverso said Wednesday.
The previous largest unclaimed California Lottery prize was $28.5 million. It's harder to determine the largest unclaimed prize for a lottery game in U.S. history, but one must certainly be the $77 million Powerball jackpot won in Georgia in 2011.
Between $20 million and $30 million in prizes from various California games go unclaimed every year, Traverso said. Last year, the total was about $27.1 million.
That seems like a huge figure, but Traverso said the lottery paid out $3.9 billion in prizes last year on sales of $5.5 billion.