June 10, 2013 – Sometimes winning tickets slip through the cracks, sometimes a $4 Powerball win doesn’t seem worth cashing in, and sometimes old tickets just stay in the cookie jar too long.
But Carole Hedinger, the executive director of the New Jersey Lottery, told New Jersey 101.5 FM that “for the most part, people are aware of the value of a large prize, so they [check for those].”
So where is the mystery millionaire who has yet to claim a $1 million prize from a year ago?
The million-dollar ticket was sold at a 7-Eleven in Bergen County, N.J., and won a second-tier prize on the June 16, 2012 drawing. This gives the mystery millionaire 6 days – until this Saturday – to come forward.
The numbers for the drawing were 08, 14, 15, 16, 27, and the Powerball number was 26.
If nobody finds the lucky ticket hiding somewhere in their home by then, the prize money will go back into the Lottery’s coffers. 30 percent will go directly to education funding.
Hedinger told Radio 101.5 in April that the Lottery expects about $31 million in prize money to go unclaimed this year, but said that it is most often lower prize amounts that go unclaimed.
“I think sometimes people overlook small prizes,” she said. “Sometimes people are traveling through the state and buy a ticket worth $10 or $15 and they may not bother to get it cashed because they’re in transit.”
“There’s no telling how many people buy tickets here and go right out of state,” she added.
Hopefully, for the mystery millionaire’s sake, that ticket sold last June doesn’t go overlooked for the rest of the week.
Read more about what happens to unclaimed lottery prizes here