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Unclaimed $14 M In Jeopardy Of Disappearing

Illinois LotteryIllinois Lottery: Unclaimed $14 M In Jeopardy Of Disappearing

There is a multimillion-dollar mystery in Illinois.

Someone out there has won $14 million in the state lottery and has yet to claim the money. If the winner does not come forward in the next three weeks, that fortune is gone forever.

There have been a lot of other lotto prizes unclaimed over the years, apparently, but none this big.

The drawing was held Jan 31, 2004, meaning the chance to step forward and claim the winnings runs out on Jan. 31, 2005. If the the winning ticket doesn't show up, the millions are gone.

With the chance of winning millions of dollars, those who regularly play the Lotto regularly check their tickets.

"Every time I buy one, (and that's) every day, I check it," one man told Ahern.

But in Frankfort, Ill., the mystery regarding who bought the winning ticket remains unsolved, but the $14 million winner has not been entirely elusive.

Ahern said that a lot of Lotto watchers knew about the good fortune right away last year.

"There was a fella that was banging on the door, because we were still locked," the Gas City clerk told Ahern of the morning after the winning drawing. "He said, 'Your place has won the $14 million.'"

But, while everyone knows where the winning ticket was purchased, no one knows who purchased it.

"Two or three people -- or one person -- every day someone asks, 'Has anyone picked up that $14 million?'"

Ahern said no one has actually picked up the millions, but there is someone who is trying to stake a claim. With time running out, someone stepped forward to say, "That's my $14 million."

There's one problem.

"There was a claim filed on the $14 million," said Illinois State Lottery spokeswoman Carolyn Adams, "but there was no ticket attached to the claim."

Adams cannot say who filed that claim, but workers at Gas City think they know who.

"The same lady that called," said the store's clerk. "(She) said, 'I am having a problem. I'm getting a divorce from my husband,' or something like that ... She says, 'I have to get a lawyer before I can claim the ticket. I don't want him to get any of it.'"

That mystery caller actually identified the winning ticket, Ahern said. The winning numbers are 37, 24, 14 , 23, 15 and 36.

Other Lotto players want to know if the mystery caller is real.

"It would be nice if that was my ticket," a customer at Gas City said.

The bottom line, though, is that until someone steps forward with the actual ticket, the money is unclaimed.

"No ticket? No claim," Adams said.

If the ticket does not surface by Jan 31, the money will go to state education fund.


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6 comments. Last comment 12 years ago by bbar3bie.
Page 1 of 1

United States
Member #379
June 5, 2002
11296 Posts
Posted: January 12, 2005, 12:54 pm - IP Logged

AFAIK the 60-day cash/annuity period in Illinois begins with the drawing date.

    DoctorEw220's avatar - alien helmet.jpg
    Yinzer Country, PA
    United States
    Member #4067
    March 18, 2004
    2741 Posts
    Posted: January 16, 2005, 3:02 pm - IP Logged

    i would feel really bad if the ticket went unclaimed. someone should do a story about the people who forget to cash in winning multi-million dollar tickets because it happens more often then people think (14. Sep. 2002 Powerball Drawing, 24. Dec. 2002 Mega Millions Drawing, 25. Apr. 2003 Mega Millions Drawing). It does happen.

    I've redone my website.  Go to www.dr-ew.com.  I kept a lot of the old stuff, and I've added some new stuff.  Look for more new stuff in the coming weeks.

      Maverick's avatar - yinyang
      United States
      Member #8242
      October 29, 2004
      1133 Posts
      Posted: January 17, 2005, 7:03 pm - IP Logged

      Article says: That mystery caller actually identified the winning ticket, Ahern said.

      Was it identified by serial number? ... cos mentioning the winning numbers is not ID. Hmm, and she's trying to divorce her husband, so that he won't receive any money. I wonder if that's possible considering she actually won while still married (even though it's unclaimed).

        GoArmy's avatar - redcross
        Waukegan, IL
        United States
        Member #8043
        October 22, 2004
        753 Posts
        Posted: January 18, 2005, 5:36 am - IP Logged

        Most stores have a video surveillance system installed and all Illinois lotto tickets have a time stamp on the lower right hand corner above the bar code. I'm sure that given the information by the lottery commission that it wouldn't be that hard to track the person down. I wonder if the lotto commission even gives the time sold to the store. I dont think that the lady (if the story is true) has a leg to stand on if it goes to court.

          Maverick's avatar - yinyang
          United States
          Member #8242
          October 29, 2004
          1133 Posts
          Posted: January 20, 2005, 6:30 pm - IP Logged
          I got a PM from bbar3bie. I'm confused, so here it is.

          Received: January 20, 2005, 5:48 pm< Prev | Next >

          Standard Member
          Standard Member

          Palm Harbor, FL
          United States
          Member #10821
          January 20, 2005
          0 Posts


                    The lady was his ex-wife...they were married when he bought the ticket. He is not cashing it out of spite.........he will cash it before the date.  The ladies brother signed the ticket. It is in the ex husband's possesion...................the lady and her sister have seen the ticket and have a lawyer working on it.  Four gorgeous wonderful children are involved.

            New Member
            Palm Harbor, FL
            United States
            Member #10623
            January 20, 2005
            7 Posts
            Posted: January 20, 2005, 7:34 pm - IP Logged

              I know the person who has put in the claim. She is the ex-wife, but she was still married to him when the ticket was purchased!!!    She and her brother <who signed the ticket!!> as he is a friend of the ex husband..........have a claim. There are lawyers involved!

            I do not know what the outcome will be.  The wife and her sister have seen the ticket. It is authentic. It remains in a safe deposit box as far as I know at this point.............the key in the possession of the husband who apparently does not want his ex wife to have her claim!

            Unfortunately, there are four wonderful children involved.