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Ct. lottery ticket worth $3.5 million expires

Connecticut LotteryConnecticut Lottery: Ct. lottery ticket worth $3.5 million expires

Officials Reject 200 Lost Ticket Claims

The dream of becoming a millionaire could be turning into someone's nightmare.

Connecticut lottery officials said no one has produced the winning ticket for a $3.5 million jackpot in the Feb. 14, 2006, drawing.

The winning ticket expired and is worthless, lottery officials said.

However, officials said if someone mailed it in and it was postmarked before the deadline, it would be honored.

Lottery officials and the Division of Special Revenue examined 186 lost ticket claims for the 2006 jackpot and found none to be valid, Lottery spokeswoman Diane Patterson said.  Those claiming to have lost a ticket paid a $100 nonrefundable fee.

Patterson said the people who had made the claims didn't have such basic facts as where and when the winning ticket was purchased.

But there is one winner in the story of the jackpot that turned into a pumpkin.

The Coventry Getty Mart in Coventry, which sold the winning ticket, is getting a $10,000 bonus.

Zee Zahid had the winning lottery ticket, worth $3.5 million, in his hand for a few seconds one year ago.

Zahid, proprietor of the Coventry Getty Mart, was notified by lottery officials recently that it was his store that sold the Feb. 14, 2006 jackpot-winning ticket that expired last week, after remaining unclaimed for more than a year.

By checking employee records from a year ago, Zahid says, he was able to figure out exactly which of his employees sold the unclaimed ticket.

"I figured out I'm the one who called in that day" to be at work Zahid said Wednesday, smiling as he sold a lottery ticket to a regular customer.

"I'm still digging up some old video" from the store's surveillance cameras, Zahid said. "Maybe we can see who bought the ticket."

But unfortunately for the purchaser of the winning ticket, any identification now could only be for the sake of curiosity.

Connecticut lottery officials declared last week that the deadline to postmark or claim the $3.5 million prize passed on Valentine's Day, and the ticket is now worthless.

The winning numbers for the Classic Lotto drawing on Feb. 14, 2006, were 15, 17, 19, 26, 37, 38.

Officials delayed announcing Zahid's store had sold the winning ticket to allow time to process the nearly 200 lost ticket claims.

Even though the ticket was unclaimed, Zahid will still receive a $10,000 bonus for selling the winning ticket.  And the sum could have been greater — possibly $35,000 — had someone come forward to claim the ticket.

Despite the lack of a giveaway, the convenience store also will receive a sign proclaiming that a $3.5 million winner was sold there.

And, Zahid says, the knowledge that a winning ticket was sold at the store is ultimately good publicity.

"People are going to be bringing in more business and buying more tickets" because of the sale of the now-defunct ticket, Zahid said.

The fate of the unclaimed prize money — equivalent to a $2.2 million lump sum — will be determined by Lottery CEO Jim Vance.

According to Vance, there are three options for the cash: return it to the state's general fund, use it to supplement prizes in other lottery games, or use it for marketing and promotions initiatives for the Connecticut lottery.

The next Classic Lotto drawing will take place Friday for a $3.3 million jackpot.

Good luck.

AP, Journal Inquirer, Lottery Post Staff

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16 comments. Last comment 10 years ago by DoubleDown.
Page 1 of 2
justxploring's avatar - villiarna
Wandering Aimlessly
United States
Member #25360
November 5, 2005
4461 Posts
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Posted: February 22, 2007, 6:55 pm - IP Logged

However, officials said if someone mailed it in and it was postmarked before the deadline, it would be honored.

 

Who the heck would do that?  Even if I weren't physically able to drive, I'd pay someone to take me.  As always, I feel this is really a shame.

I'm surprised CT doesn't announce the name of the retailer. Florida always lists the name and address of the place where a ticket was purchased.  They then try to find the winner by posting announcements at the store.  On the other hand, not listing the retailer does help to eliminate those people who make false claims.

    Avatar

    United States
    Member #10720
    January 23, 2005
    933 Posts
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    Posted: February 22, 2007, 9:43 pm - IP Logged

    It's probably mine. I ALWAYS go to ummmm... Coventry! to play my numbers. Maybe the dog ate it. Anyway... I think what happens is people play so many Quick Picks and then they put them aside with other papers and lose track of them, and they don't pay attention to the Lottery website announcing unclaimed prizes. This is the first I am reading it, and if it were mine it would be too late. At least the store should have been able to mention it. One time I won something it was 2 weeks later I found the ticket while checking a stack of them. I'd be curious to know if that was a QP or Manual pick.

      MissNYC's avatar - diva
      Westchester, New York
      United States
      Member #49345
      January 27, 2007
      168 Posts
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      Posted: February 22, 2007, 10:18 pm - IP Logged

      It's nice that everyone waits until NOW to investigate. If they had a possible video, you think they'd take a look at it before it was too late. Eh well, hopefully they won't ever find out, because in this situation, what the person doesn't know, won't hurt them. On a side note, I always found it strange that lottery sales would increase at a store that sold a winning ticket. I think I'd be less likely to buy a ticket from such a place banking on the "lightning doesn't strike the same place twice" theory; but that's just me. Anyhow, a word to the wise, if your gonna spend the money on a lotto ticket, at least take a look.

        Todd's avatar - Cylon 2.gif
        Chief Bottle Washer
        New Jersey
        United States
        Member #1
        May 31, 2000
        23273 Posts
        Offline
        Posted: February 22, 2007, 10:30 pm - IP Logged

        However, officials said if someone mailed it in and it was postmarked before the deadline, it would be honored.

         

        Who the heck would do that?  Even if I weren't physically able to drive, I'd pay someone to take me.  As always, I feel this is really a shame.

        I'm surprised CT doesn't announce the name of the retailer. Florida always lists the name and address of the place where a ticket was purchased.  They then try to find the winner by posting announcements at the store.  On the other hand, not listing the retailer does help to eliminate those people who make false claims.

        Since you've asked, go to the link below and scroll down to Friday, June 15, 2001.  The CNN link is still working.

        http://www.usamega.com/archive-062001.htm

         

        Check the State Lottery Report Card
        What grade did your lottery earn?

         

        Sign the Petition for True Lottery Drawings
        Help eliminate computerized drawings!

          dumars798's avatar - batman17
          Atlanta
          United States
          Member #28656
          December 20, 2005
          5675 Posts
          Offline
          Posted: February 23, 2007, 12:02 am - IP Logged

          I wish i had it,i'll be at the

          lottery headquarters 20

          min after the drawing

          took place with my lawyer

          on speed dial..lol

                  Smart bets...... Equal Phat Pocket$!

                               

                       





            justxploring's avatar - villiarna
            Wandering Aimlessly
            United States
            Member #25360
            November 5, 2005
            4461 Posts
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            Posted: February 23, 2007, 12:14 am - IP Logged

            Thanks, Todd!  I agree with his wife when she asked "Are you crazy?"  I mean, that man really wasn't thinking too clearly.  He's really lucky, especially since it arrived 3 days after the deadline.  I wouldn't even use certified mail, but sending a $46 million winner by regular mail? 

              Avatar
              Greenwich, CT
              United States
              Member #4793
              May 24, 2004
              1822 Posts
              Offline
              Posted: February 23, 2007, 9:01 am - IP Logged

              However, officials said if someone mailed it in and it was postmarked before the deadline, it would be honored.

               

              Who the heck would do that?  Even if I weren't physically able to drive, I'd pay someone to take me.  As always, I feel this is really a shame.

              I'm surprised CT doesn't announce the name of the retailer. Florida always lists the name and address of the place where a ticket was purchased.  They then try to find the winner by posting announcements at the store.  On the other hand, not listing the retailer does help to eliminate those people who make false claims.

              CT purposefully does not release the name of the retailer until the ticket has expired.  There is a law on the books that allows a person to claim a CT Classic Lotto jackpot without a ticket.  So when your dog eats the ticket...if you know what numbers you picked...you've got your playslips, can identify other lines that you bought on the same ticket, you know that you bought the ticket the day before the drawing, around 7:20pm, at the Coventry Getty Mart....pretty solid proof for the lottery commission to pay out.

              By keeping the sale location secret, CT can easily toss most of those 186 phony claims because the person claimed to buy their ticket in New London, or Stamford, etc.

                RJOh's avatar - chipmunk
                mid-Ohio
                United States
                Member #9
                March 24, 2001
                19830 Posts
                Offline
                Posted: February 23, 2007, 9:50 am - IP Logged

                "Lottery officials and the Division of Special Revenue examined 186 lost ticket claims for the 2006 jackpot and found none to be valid, Lottery spokeswoman Diane Patterson said.  Those claiming to have lost a ticket paid a $100 nonrefundable fee."

                Looks like Connecticut lottery have found a way to save some money when scammers try to make a false claim for a winning ticket that goes unclaimed. 

                 * you don't need to buy more tickets, just buy a winning ticket * 
                   
                             Evil Looking       

                  Avatar
                  Englewood, Colorado
                  United States
                  Member #19108
                  July 25, 2005
                  51 Posts
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                  Posted: February 23, 2007, 12:10 pm - IP Logged

                  It still boggles my mind how people who buy lottery tickets can be so casual as to not check them after the drawing takes place to see if they had a winner. Why did they buy the ticket in the first place?

                    Avatar

                    Honduras
                    Member #20982
                    August 29, 2005
                    4715 Posts
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                    Posted: February 23, 2007, 12:12 pm - IP Logged

                    Can anyone tell me what do they do with the tickets no one claims?

                     

                    "Keno is "el diablo cazador de hombres"          "You can't see it..."                "And it skins them......."                                    from movie "Predator 1"....

                      four4me's avatar - gate1
                      MD
                      United States
                      Member #1701
                      June 18, 2003
                      8363 Posts
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                      Posted: February 23, 2007, 2:14 pm - IP Logged

                      Can anyone tell me what do they do with the tickets no one claims?

                       

                      "Keno is "el diablo cazador de hombres"          "You can't see it..."                "And it skins them......."                                    from movie "Predator 1"....

                      it depends on what there lottery bi laws say sometimes the money goes into the general fund and sometimes they use the money for future promotional games.

                      Big John says. You don't hit the number. The number hits you!!!!

                                     I'm not Big John, I'm Four4me, Big John's a friend.
                        justxploring's avatar - villiarna
                        Wandering Aimlessly
                        United States
                        Member #25360
                        November 5, 2005
                        4461 Posts
                        Offline
                        Posted: February 23, 2007, 2:41 pm - IP Logged

                        CT purposefully does not release the name of the retailer until the ticket has expired.  There is a law on the books that allows a person to claim a CT Classic Lotto jackpot without a ticket.  So when your dog eats the ticket...if you know what numbers you picked...you've got your playslips, can identify other lines that you bought on the same ticket, you know that you bought the ticket the day before the drawing, around 7:20pm, at the Coventry Getty Mart....pretty solid proof for the lottery commission to pay out.

                        By keeping the sale location secret, CT can easily toss most of those 186 phony claims because the person claimed to buy their ticket in New London, or Stamford, etc.

                        I understand, JAG331.  I think it makes sense to hold back those details, the same way details of a crime aren't released to the media. However, I guess I got so used to Florida announcing the retailer and going out of its way to find the winner, that I expect that in other states. 

                        I also agree with RJOh's comment. I feel the $100 fee is very reasonable.  Even if someone is being sincere, paying $100 to collect a large jackpot is worth every penny. So maybe many of the people who file claims think they might actually be the winner.  This suggests to me that a lot of people buy tickets and lose them.

                        So when your dog eats the ticket...if you know what numbers you picked...you've got your playslips, can identify other lines that you bought on the same ticket, you know that you bought the ticket the day before the drawing, around 7:20pm, at the Coventry Getty Mart....

                        JAG, just my opinion - but if someone leaves a lottery ticket in a place where it can get lost or destroyed, then that same person probably won't have the other information you mentioned. Maybe I'm being too judgmental.  I know the possibilities are slim that I'll win, but I still treat every ticket as if it's a winner and put it in a safe place.  I suppose knowing where the ticket was purchased and approximately the time isn't too difficult to remember.  If someone has that information, will they then use the video tapes to confirm the claim?  To tell you the truth, I have no idea exactly where I bought my tickets most of the time. I stop at Publix, 7-11, Sweetbay, Sunoco..wherever I am when I think about it on Sat.  Maybe I should write down the time & place! 

                          Avatar
                          Greenwich, CT
                          United States
                          Member #4793
                          May 24, 2004
                          1822 Posts
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                          Posted: February 23, 2007, 3:25 pm - IP Logged

                          Well, I think you've got it right!

                          If you keep the ticket in a safe place, this will never happen in the first place!


                            United States
                            Member #379
                            June 5, 2002
                            11296 Posts
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                            Posted: February 24, 2007, 9:54 am - IP Logged

                            I understand, JAG331.  I think it makes sense to hold back those details, the same way details of a crime aren't released to the media. However, I guess I got so used to Florida announcing the retailer and going out of its way to find the winner, that I expect that in other states. 

                            I also agree with RJOh's comment. I feel the $100 fee is very reasonable.  Even if someone is being sincere, paying $100 to collect a large jackpot is worth every penny. So maybe many of the people who file claims think they might actually be the winner.  This suggests to me that a lot of people buy tickets and lose them.

                            So when your dog eats the ticket...if you know what numbers you picked...you've got your playslips, can identify other lines that you bought on the same ticket, you know that you bought the ticket the day before the drawing, around 7:20pm, at the Coventry Getty Mart....

                            JAG, just my opinion - but if someone leaves a lottery ticket in a place where it can get lost or destroyed, then that same person probably won't have the other information you mentioned. Maybe I'm being too judgmental.  I know the possibilities are slim that I'll win, but I still treat every ticket as if it's a winner and put it in a safe place.  I suppose knowing where the ticket was purchased and approximately the time isn't too difficult to remember.  If someone has that information, will they then use the video tapes to confirm the claim?  To tell you the truth, I have no idea exactly where I bought my tickets most of the time. I stop at Publix, 7-11, Sweetbay, Sunoco..wherever I am when I think about it on Sat.  Maybe I should write down the time & place! 

                            Unfortunately, because of how Florida interprets the 60-day rule, if FL conducts a "winner's" search for an about-to-expire FL Lotto or Mega Money ticket and is successful, the ticket holder is forced to receive 20 or 30 annual payments, depending on the game (FL starts the clock with the drawing, rather than with the claim.) I see no benefit to FL for making that decision about the 60-day rule. This is especially unfortunate since FL is a vacation state, with many elderly people, with some of them living there only part of the year.