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$12 million Texas lottery jackpot unclaimed

Texas LotteryTexas Lottery: $12 million Texas lottery jackpot unclaimed
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Somebody lost millions of dollars Monday evening that they probably never knew was theirs.

Six months after beating astronomical odds to win the Lotto Texas jackpot, the simultaneously lucky and cursed person failed to materialize before a deadline to redeem the winning ticket — officially worth $12 million, and $7.5 million in immediate cash.

It was biggest unclaimed Lotto prize since 2001 and the third largest since the game started in 1992, according to the Texas Lottery Commission.

"It's very unfortunate," commission spokeswoman Kelly Cripe said in a remark worthy of consideration for understatement of the year.

The purchaser got the golden ticket at a South Shore Shell gas station on FM 518 in League City, but likely lost it or otherwise never knew it was a winner, said lottery officials, who held their Houston and Austin offices open an extra hour in a fruitless attempt to help on the 180th and final day the prize could be claimed.

Instead, the unclaimed money, like most lottery revenue, will go to the state's Foundation School Program. That fund is the main vehicle for distributing roughly $16.7 billion annually to public schools, Texas Education Agency spokeswoman Lauren Callahan said.

More than $837 million in unclaimed lottery prizes have reverted to the state budget since 1995, although much of that has come in much smaller amounts from scratch-off games.

The state lottery system, formed in 1992 with the six-number Lotto Texas as its original jackpot game, now also includes the multi-state Powerball and Mega Millions games. The system brought in $4.4 billion in the last fiscal year, distributing $2.8 billion to winners and $1.2 billion to the state budget, including $1.1 billion to the Foundation School Fund.

"At least the schools will get the (unclaimed) money. That's a good thing," said Shawn Mohammed, 32, manager of the Shell station that sold the winning ticket.

The station got $121,000 from the state in March as a prize for selling the ticket, and Mohammed said business has picked up since.

On Monday evening, it bustled with customers.

"This is a very lucky store," said Rashad Harris, 28, of League City, who said he buys a ticket there almost every day. "This store stays open 24 hours, so you've got a chance of getting a lucky streak anytime here."

Still, the manager recognized that the luck turned cruel for whoever bought the ticket that officially became a winner on Jan. 1.

"I just feel very bad for this person, because whoever it might be, they lost out on opportunity of a lifetime," Mohammed said. "Twelve million dollars doesn't just come easily to anybody."

Gail Howard, a lottery expert and head of a Florida-based company that promises to "turn a game of luck into a game of skill," said unclaimed tickets have been a long-running problem in lotteries across the country.

Often, Howard said, winners misplace their tickets or forget to see if they won. She recommended lottery players establish a routine of putting all tickets in one place and regularly checking them.

"Every ticket should be treated as if it is a jackpot-winning ticket," she said.

In Texas, state records show that it is common for lottery winners to wait to claim prizes. The record wait for Lotto Texas was 159 days for a $3.5 million ticket sold in 2008.

Unclaimed jackpots are relatively rare; Monday's was only the eighth in Lotto Texas history. The record for the biggest unclaimed prize is a $40 million jackpot sold at Stone Creek Mini Mart in Flower Mound in 1994.

Jackpots wins are relatively rare, as well. There only have been two so far in 2014 - the Jan. 1 one that officially went unclaimed Monday, and a $36.25 million ticket sold at a Stripes Convenience Store in Cuero on May 31.

One month later, state officials noted, that prize has not yet been claimed.

Houston Chronicle

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22 comments. Last comment 3 months ago by bigbuckswede.
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Goteki54's avatar - Lottery-007.jpg
Baltimore, MD
United States
Member #143337
May 30, 2013
286 Posts
Offline
Posted: July 2, 2014, 5:22 pm - IP Logged

How could someone just let a multi million dollar winning ticket go unclaimed?! If people are not going to check their tickets, then why are they playing in the first place?  What a colossal waste!! I can't think of a logical excuse to how this could happen other then the winner either losing the ticket or having a heart attack before telling anyone he or she won.

Goteki, have a Snickers. Why? Because you always get angry when you have a case of the one offs on your lottery tickets. Better? No, I'm still ticked off!Hit With Stick

    hearsetrax's avatar - 78638c467ef281febf24383e126f74b6

    United States
    Member #52345
    May 21, 2007
    1862 Posts
    Offline
    Posted: July 2, 2014, 7:17 pm - IP Logged

    No Pity!makes me grin Big Grin

      Piaceri's avatar - sarsony1
      Wannabe Won Percenter
      Republic of Texas
      United States
      Member #57557
      January 9, 2008
      996 Posts
      Offline
      Posted: July 2, 2014, 8:01 pm - IP Logged

      Sucks to be them.

      All my tickets go in a particular place, every single time.

      face

      singlewinnersinglewinnersinglewinner   

        mikeintexas's avatar - h t2.jpg
        Texas Panhandle
        United States
        Member #136848
        December 20, 2012
        496 Posts
        Online
        Posted: July 2, 2014, 8:43 pm - IP Logged

        Sucks to be them.

        All my tickets go in a particular place, every single time.

        Mine too.  I had written a too-lengthy reply telling about some of the tickets I had lost - blown away when I opened the vehicle door, covered up by stuff on my desk, fell out of my coat pocket,  etc. but decided I was blathering on. (as I'm sometimes prone to do)  Now I put them in one of those freebie blue Texas Lotto "wallets" they sometimes hand out at lottery retailers.

        It's better to be alone than in bad company.

          dallascowboyfan's avatar - tiana the-princess-and-the-frog.jpg
          Oklahoma
          United States
          Member #82391
          November 12, 2009
          5334 Posts
          Offline
          Posted: July 2, 2014, 9:24 pm - IP Logged

          Wow!!!! I often wonder when tickets go unclaimed if the person has passed away.

          I Love Pink & Green 1908

            dallascowboyfan's avatar - tiana the-princess-and-the-frog.jpg
            Oklahoma
            United States
            Member #82391
            November 12, 2009
            5334 Posts
            Offline
            Posted: July 2, 2014, 9:28 pm - IP Logged

            Mine too.  I had written a too-lengthy reply telling about some of the tickets I had lost - blown away when I opened the vehicle door, covered up by stuff on my desk, fell out of my coat pocket,  etc. but decided I was blathering on. (as I'm sometimes prone to do)  Now I put them in one of those freebie blue Texas Lotto "wallets" they sometimes hand out at lottery retailers.

            Mike I got a couple of those blue Texas lotto wallets. I really like them it keeps the ticket secure.

            I Love Pink & Green 1908

              psykomo's avatar - animal shark.jpg

              United States
              Member #4877
              May 30, 2004
              4624 Posts
              Offline
              Posted: July 2, 2014, 9:52 pm - IP Logged

              BUT:

              Kum & Go with UMB got their man >>>>million'$$

              BUT:

              TEXAS slipped thru D lottery CRACK'$$!

              BUTT>>>>>>>>>>>>>>THANK>U>4UR>post>if>U>HAVE>>>>>>>>>MILLION'$$$$$ or drive a smart >>CAR!!!!!!!

                mikeintexas's avatar - h t2.jpg
                Texas Panhandle
                United States
                Member #136848
                December 20, 2012
                496 Posts
                Online
                Posted: July 2, 2014, 10:29 pm - IP Logged

                Mike I got a couple of those blue Texas lotto wallets. I really like them it keeps the ticket secure.

                I'm always misplacing things and have been trying to become more organized.  I used to date a woman who was a Zig Zigglar devotee and she told me a cluttered house makes for a cluttered life and mind.  I dunno 'bout that, but I have a hard time keeping the clutter out of my house. (and I later decided that woman was clutter in my life)

                A couple yrs. back I had gone to the grocery store, had been craving a good homemade burger.   I had stopped at another store before I went to the grocery store and got home, went into my bedroom to drop off the non-perishable items I needed to put up, then went into the kitchen to put up the things that needed to go in the fridge.  The next day, I wanted to make my burger, but I couldn't find the meat and I figured the sack boy just hadn't put it in with the other stuff and I'd have to go tell the manager what had happened. (had happened before, he knows me and knows I wouldn't try to bilk them out of something.) A couple days later, I realized I hadn't bought my lottery tickets and it was getting close to drawing time, so I grabbed my jacket and went out the door.  I got into my truck and smelled something funky, decided a mouse must've died under the seat.  Got to the store where I buy my tickets and when I got out, the fresh air was nice.  I got in line with some others, but people were backing away from me and I figured the smell had got on my clothes.  I got home w/ my tickets, started to throw my jacket down on a "catch-all" table and saw a plastic sack....I picked it up, opened it and nearly gagged....it was the hamburger meat, totally rotten.   No wonder my jacked reeked of death.

                It's better to be alone than in bad company.

                  hearsetrax's avatar - 78638c467ef281febf24383e126f74b6

                  United States
                  Member #52345
                  May 21, 2007
                  1862 Posts
                  Offline
                  Posted: July 3, 2014, 6:12 am - IP Logged

                  Sucks to be them.

                  All my tickets go in a particular place, every single time.

                  I Agree! all my tickets either stay in my wallet or I put them under my clock in the bedroom

                    Teddi's avatar - Lottery-008.jpg

                    United States
                    Member #142504
                    May 13, 2013
                    587 Posts
                    Offline
                    Posted: July 3, 2014, 3:30 pm - IP Logged

                    How could someone just let a multi million dollar winning ticket go unclaimed?! If people are not going to check their tickets, then why are they playing in the first place?  What a colossal waste!! I can't think of a logical excuse to how this could happen other then the winner either losing the ticket or having a heart attack before telling anyone he or she won.

                    The lottery gods have a really weird and twisted sense of humor. This is a real shame. A life-changing amount of money that everyone who plays the lottery would be happy to win, up in smoke.

                    "I believe in luck. How else can you explain the success of those you dislike?" - Jean Cocteau

                    "A gambler with a system must be, to a greater or lesser extent, insane." -  George Augustus Sala (1828-1895)

                      Piaceri's avatar - sarsony1
                      Wannabe Won Percenter
                      Republic of Texas
                      United States
                      Member #57557
                      January 9, 2008
                      996 Posts
                      Offline
                      Posted: July 3, 2014, 6:29 pm - IP Logged

                      Mine too.  I had written a too-lengthy reply telling about some of the tickets I had lost - blown away when I opened the vehicle door, covered up by stuff on my desk, fell out of my coat pocket,  etc. but decided I was blathering on. (as I'm sometimes prone to do)  Now I put them in one of those freebie blue Texas Lotto "wallets" they sometimes hand out at lottery retailers.

                      I have one of those, too. I store my pick slips and lottery budget in those. My tickets are kept in a red envelope with a few good luck charms and a fortune cookie fortune that reads "May you grow rich".  ;)

                      face

                      singlewinnersinglewinnersinglewinner   

                        rcbbuckeye's avatar - Lottery-043.jpg
                        Texas
                        United States
                        Member #55889
                        October 23, 2007
                        3360 Posts
                        Offline
                        Posted: July 3, 2014, 7:16 pm - IP Logged

                        Speaking of Texas Lotto. Dang it!!!

                        I had all 6 winning numbers on 2 lines last night. 4 on the first line, 2 on the next. And the 2 numbers wrong on the first line were 1 off.

                        I pulled the numbers off LP's RNG.

                        Well, there's the next draw on Saturday.

                        CAN'T WIN IF YOU'RE NOT IN

                        A DOLLAR AND A DREAM (OR $2)

                          LottoMetro's avatar - Lottery-024.jpg
                          Happyland
                          United States
                          Member #146350
                          September 1, 2013
                          602 Posts
                          Offline
                          Posted: July 3, 2014, 7:28 pm - IP Logged

                          Speaking of Texas Lotto. Dang it!!!

                          I had all 6 winning numbers on 2 lines last night. 4 on the first line, 2 on the next. And the 2 numbers wrong on the first line were 1 off.

                          I pulled the numbers off LP's RNG.

                          Well, there's the next draw on Saturday.

                          Wow Shocked I've never got that close in any game

                          All different numbers? $924 from being a millionaire! LOL

                          If the chances of winning the jackpot are so slim, why play when the jackpot is so small? Your chances never change, but the payoff does.

                          If a crystal ball showed you the future of the rest of your life, and in that future you will never win a jackpot, would you still play?

                          2013: -35.14% (158 tickets) || 2014: +20.00% (13 tickets)

                            mikeintexas's avatar - h t2.jpg
                            Texas Panhandle
                            United States
                            Member #136848
                            December 20, 2012
                            496 Posts
                            Online
                            Posted: July 3, 2014, 7:50 pm - IP Logged

                            I have one of those, too. I store my pick slips and lottery budget in those. My tickets are kept in a red envelope with a few good luck charms and a fortune cookie fortune that reads "May you grow rich".  ;)

                            Ever played the numbers on a fortune cookie slip?  I love Chinese food and used to eat it often until I had to slack off the carbs.  I've played the numbers and never had a bit of luck.  One of the largest suppliers of fortune cookies has a plant here in Texas;  not sure how their sales are going now since an unfortunate accident.

                            It's better to be alone than in bad company.