CONCORD, N.H. — New Hampshire Lottery officials are about to pull a scratch ticket from stores, even though one of the $1 million prizes is still unaccounted for.
Officials said 93 percent of the NH Millionaire's Club scratch tickets have been sold, but one of two $1 million winners hasn't been turned in.
"Somewhere out there is a scratch ticket worth $1 million," said Rick Wisler, executive director of the New Hampshire Lottery. "There's no more inventory in the warehouse. So either the winner is among the few tickets remaining in stores, or it's in someone's possession — hopefully someplace safe."
There were 2.1 million tickets printed, and more than 200,000 tickets qualified for a second chance at another $1 million. Lottery officials said that drawing can't be scheduled until the game is closed out, which normally happens after the top prizes are claimed.
After being on sale for more than two years, the second jackpot ticket should have turned up by now, officials said.
"We're not giving up hope that the second $1 million instant ticket will be discovered," Wisler said. "We'd like nothing more than to see someone in New Hampshire become an instant millionaire. But the game needs to be closed out sooner than later because we're making the plans to give away a third $1 million jackpot."
Sales of the $10 tickets have increased since word of the missing $1 million ticket came out. Unclaimed prizes for all lottery instant games expire one year after the game is closed. If a prize goes unclaimed during that year, it's returned as net profit earmarked for education, officials said.
The first $1 million winning ticket was won by George and Marlene Muncy, of Amherst, N.H., on Oct. 9, 2007. The ticket was purchased at D&S Quick Stop in Merrimack.