TRENTON, N.J. — Picture this: You've been holding a winning lottery ticket worth $200,000 or $250,000 for nearly one year without claiming the prize.
That is the head-scratching reality that has befallen three winning lottery tickets set to expire this month, including one that was sold in Eatontown, said Judith Drucker, a spokeswoman for the New Jersey Lottery.
A lottery winner has one year from the drawing to claim the prize.
If a winner fails to do so, the money goes back into the lottery and may be used for future prizes or state contributions, Drucker said.
The two $250,000 Mega Millions tickets were bought Dec. 23, 2011, and Dec. 27, 2011.
The first was purchased at Orange Liquors on Scotland Road in Orange with winning numbers 3, 5, 8, 18 and 29; Mega Ball 14; and Megaplier 4.
The other was purchased at Street Corner News at Monmouth Mall in Eatontown with winning numbers 23, 32, 33, 39 and 43; Mega Ball 8; and Megaplier 3, Drucker said.
The $200,000 Powerball ticket was bought Dec. 24, 2011, at Milleries Food Market on Rancocas Road in Mount Holly.
Its numbers were 14, 16, 30, 51 and 52; Red Ball 19; and Powerplay Multiplier 2, Drucker said.
Those holding these tickets should immediately call lottery headquarters at 609-599-5800 or visit a local lottery retailer to file their claims before expiration, Drucker said.