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N.C. couple nabbed $1M lottery prize just before it expired

Mega MillionsMega Millions: N.C. couple nabbed $1M lottery prize just before it expired
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Just one day before their winning lottery ticket turned into a scrap of worthless paper, a North Carolina couple has come forward to claim their big million-dollar prize.

Erin and Raleigh Hill of Stallings, N.C., had held onto the winning ticket for months, despite lottery authorities' desperate attempts to locate the winners. Raleigh Hill, a baggage handler, told Lotto officials that when he learned he had won, he waited weeks to tell his wife Erin, who works for the federal government.

Finally, when she had a bad day, he said he casually shared the news of their windfall, telling her, "Things aren't all that bad."

As the months ticked by, Erin encouraged her husband to redeem the ticket, but fearing "hoopla," he stashed it away in everything from a Bible to a shoebox, lottery officials said. At one point, he even worried that he had lost the ticket, forgetting where he had put it.

"When she brought the subject up, I'd always say, 'We'll talk about it,'" Raleigh said to lottery officials today as he and his wife picked up their prize. "It wasn't about the money. It was the attention... I was overwhelmed. Nervous."

If the couple hadn't come forward, their good fortune would have meant nothing.

In a quest to find the new millionaires, the N.C.E.L had placed a banner sign up at the store where the ticket was sold asking "Who's Got the Million Dollar" ticket. The ticket was sold at Market Express on 2800 Old Monroe Road in Matthews in Mecklenburg County. The time line on Mega Million winnings is 180 days from the drawing.

"We really want the person who won this prize to get the winnings," said Van Denton, director of corporate corporations at North Carolina Education Lottery, before the Hills emerged. "This person had some great luck and they deserve this prize."

It wouldn't have been the first time that a prize went unclaimed. In Texas, one unlucky lotto winner failed to collect a prize worth $4.1 million.

"It happens often," says Gail Howard, the author of "Lottery Master Guide." This is why lottery players should "check their tickets right after the drawing because you could have a nice prize waiting for you."

But, why is it so common for lottery tickets to go unclaimed?

"I think it's more that they were too busy or too lazy to check their ticket," says Howard. "Then days went by and it went out of their mind."

If the Hills had waited too long, their $1 million prize would have been divided equally between the lottery's education fund and, to an unusual benefactor, Medicaid. The lottery intended to direct funds to a Medicaid shortfall instead of the typical allotment for prizes for players in 2011.

"Celebrating winners is one of the most fun things we do at the lottery and we hate to see prizes go unclaimed," wrote NCEL Executive Director Alice Garland.

The kerfuffle brings to mind an incident two years ago in the state when a man nearly lost out on $200,000 because his unchecked lottery ticket was left sitting on his dresser. It took the prompting of a friend who heard of the dwindling timeline for the ticket owner to realize he was the lucky winner — less than two days before the expiration date.

The nearly five-year-old lottery system has seen 16 tickets go unclaimed. That's at least four tickets a year — remember we're not in year five, yet — where winners have failed to claim anywhere from $100,000 to $800,000. Since N.C. began its lottery system, nine of the unclaimed tickets have been Powerball winnings and seven of the unclaimed tickets have been Carolina Cash 5 tickets. The state's largest unclaimed ticket was a Powerball ticket for $800,000 in April 2008.

How do you lose out on millions? "Maybe they very seldom buy tickets and they're not in the habit of checking their winning ticket," says Howard. "They might assume they have a losing ticket."

That could have been the case in 2002 after a future millionaire 51 times over lost out on the fortune after failing to claim a $51.7 Powerball ticket sold in Indiana.

"People that win often look forward to checking their ticket," Howard says. "But, even if someone knows, and they put it in a very safe place, they might forget where that safe place was."

ABC News

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33 comments. Last comment 6 years ago by butterflykt.
Page 1 of 3
sully16's avatar - sharan
Ringleader
Michigan
United States
Member #81740
October 28, 2009
40394 Posts
Offline
Posted: February 16, 2011, 8:11 am - IP Logged

Congrats to the Hills , enjoy your good fortune.

Did you exchange a walk on part in the war ?

For a lead role in a cage?

 

                                            From Pink Floyd's " Wish you were here"

    dallascowboyfan's avatar - tiana the-princess-and-the-frog.jpg
    Oklahoma
    United States
    Member #82391
    November 12, 2009
    6290 Posts
    Offline
    Posted: February 16, 2011, 8:24 am - IP Logged

    WOW!!!! cutting it close...congratulations to the Hills........

      joshuacloak's avatar - Money Swim-uncle-scrooge-mcduck-35997717-677-518.jpg

      United States
      Member #32537
      February 12, 2006
      698 Posts
      Offline
      Posted: February 16, 2011, 8:43 am - IP Logged

      geez i was thinking it was lost, instand it was insane and fearful? player....

      cease who the hell would pass up Claiming it asap for freaking interest!,  hes lost,  is the lottery bank account gain LOL

      i understand jackpot winners taking just about 2 full weeks before they claim it....

      sense the lotterys say it takes about 2 weeks total for ever state in the pb/mm games  to transfer their share of jackpot prize pool they collected to the state where the winners are,

      who then pays/wires the money to the winner, so sense your not getting the cash for 2 weeks anyway even if you claimed next day

      , may as will take your bloody time for them 2 weeks

      , so why not wait and get your lawyer ,trust whatever setup etc

      but small 2nd place prize can be paid it with a check near instant , once the paperwork at hq done.....

      if anything,  he bring onto him self More media,by making people aware their was a 1m winner,  HES plan has backfired, hes bring more media onto himself. what a genius........

      and i hope he didn't  any debts... such as car/house payments interest he could of avoided by out right paying them off asap , instand of waiting so long to do it

       

      what was he thinking?

      "am to scared of the public finding out, am going to site here, wait to the last min and claim....."   

      oh will, am glad he got the money and Not the state , the state should never get back unclaimed prizes, they should find a way to  put it back into some prize pools......... sense the states already got their share form SALE  of the game/tickets/whatever

      plus he paid for a 2 buck ticket so he deserves that 1million prize  and not 250k form a normal win of 5-0 hit on mm

       

       

      am going to put this down as:

      how being overwhelmed and  Nervous can make you lose Future Income by frezing up in fear, a  lesson to future lottery winners!

        lottery winners will indeed keep me guesting at what they do next LOL

        dr65's avatar - black panther.jpg
        Pennsylvania
        United States
        Member #74096
        May 2, 2009
        22883 Posts
        Offline
        Posted: February 16, 2011, 8:59 am - IP Logged

        The Mr. of the pair acted badly....imagine when the publicity dies down. It's only a million I don't think he has to worry about it too much. What

        new creature will he turn into having the money in his hands? He will probably bury it in the yard somewhere and forget where he put it.

        There is no sense in letting worry run your life. Maybe that's what happened to the $51 millioin dollar winner, they might have worried and

        stressed themselves to death.

          dpoly1's avatar - driver
          PA
          United States
          Member #66141
          October 16, 2008
          1672 Posts
          Offline
          Posted: February 16, 2011, 9:05 am - IP Logged

          So now, there is even more publicity!

          Smart !?  Stooges

            Avatar
            north carolina/virginia
            United States
            Member #2097
            August 17, 2003
            126 Posts
            Offline
            Posted: February 16, 2011, 9:06 am - IP Logged

            Ok I like to keep my comments positive, but in this case ~~~What a freaking Dumb A.....!  I am sure he is like the most of us living paycheck to paycheck, no doubt the pair have had days where they pinched pennies.  If I was the partner I'd be mad as hell, how you gonna wait this long for a million dollars. Something just either fishy about his reasoning, or just stupid.  But its my opinion, and his right to claim whenever he wants to.

              time*treat's avatar - radar

              United States
              Member #13130
              March 30, 2005
              2171 Posts
              Offline
              Posted: February 16, 2011, 9:47 am - IP Logged

              They're lucky it wasn't a leap year. LOL

              In neo-conned Amerika, bank robs you.
              Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms should be the name of a convenience store, not a govnoment agency.

                Avatar
                Monkey Butt, USA
                United States
                Member #54569
                August 23, 2007
                1124 Posts
                Offline
                Posted: February 16, 2011, 9:59 am - IP Logged

                Mr. Raleigh Hill is "FULL OF SH**!!!  This man is a drama filled moron!!!

                You have a million dollar ticket and you B.S. around in cashing it in?!!!

                I expect the Hills to forget where the money is deposited after they cash in the ticket.

                I hope Erin is manager of the finances because this drama king is a piece of work.

                She encourages the idiot to cash in the ticket and he.........!!!

                She asks about it and he brushes her off??....... He is too stooopid to have a million dollars!!!

                Besides winning a million dollars in the Mega Million or Power Ball is not that news worthy. Happy to burst his bubble on that score.

                You win a million dollars.... Big WHOOP.......

                Win the jackpot on Mega Millions or Power Ball now that's news...

                Erin HIll, you are a strong woman to be married to a drama king like Raleigh.....

                As the months ticked by, Erin encouraged her husband to redeem the ticket, but fearing "hoopla," he stashed it away in everything from a Bible to a shoebox, lottery officials said. At one point, he even worried that he had lost the ticket, forgetting where he had put it.

                "When she brought the subject up, I'd always say, 'We'll talk about it,'" Raleigh said to lottery officials today as he and his wife picked up their prize. "It wasn't about the money. It was the attention... I was overwhelmed. Nervous."

                If the couple hadn't come forward, their good fortune would have meant nothing.

                 

                 

                  dphillips's avatar - littleuns
                  Albuquerque, New Mexico
                  United States
                  Member #5128
                  June 18, 2004
                  377 Posts
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                  Posted: February 16, 2011, 11:29 am - IP Logged

                  Some of the readers do not consider this article to be newsworthy, it's only a million dollars! Some of you may remember when a million dollars was a jaw droping event.  Now, if the lottery ticket was worth...$200 million, there would be all kinds of negative comments.  Anyway, the best of luck to the couple.

                  See Ya!-- Bye, bye!  When you win, may you glow as brightly as theSun Smiley

                    freeobama's avatar - Lottery-057.jpg
                    Sunny part of town
                    United States
                    Member #102877
                    December 27, 2010
                    224 Posts
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                    Posted: February 16, 2011, 11:56 am - IP Logged

                    Some of the readers do not consider this article to be newsworthy, it's only a million dollars! Some of you may remember when a million dollars was a jaw droping event.  Now, if the lottery ticket was worth...$200 million, there would be all kinds of negative comments.  Anyway, the best of luck to the couple.

                    $500,000 would be jaw droping to me.Dance

                      duckman's avatar - ducklogodrake64x64
                      Jacksonville Florida
                      United States
                      Member #23018
                      October 6, 2005
                      916 Posts
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                      Posted: February 16, 2011, 12:35 pm - IP Logged

                      A rare occurrence for me in this story: a word I have never heard of before:

                      kerfuffle

                      hmmm ... what lucky numbers does kerfuffle conjure up?

                        Avatar
                        New Member
                        Richmond Texas
                        United States
                        Member #81193
                        October 13, 2009
                        14 Posts
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                        Posted: February 16, 2011, 1:57 pm - IP Logged

                        Yea Erin need to do a background check on this Mr. Nervous man she is married to he has a lot of skletons in his closet.....Unpaid child support ex wife(s) FBI fufitive, your imagination is of this story ending is really the thesis,,,,

                          dr65's avatar - black panther.jpg
                          Pennsylvania
                          United States
                          Member #74096
                          May 2, 2009
                          22883 Posts
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                          Posted: February 16, 2011, 2:42 pm - IP Logged

                          Some of the readers do not consider this article to be newsworthy, it's only a million dollars! Some of you may remember when a million dollars was a jaw droping event.  Now, if the lottery ticket was worth...$200 million, there would be all kinds of negative comments.  Anyway, the best of luck to the couple.

                          It is newsworthy. One million dollars today is nothing to get so whacked over. The husband seems to have some issues...hiding the ticket, not

                          telling his spouse, worrying about what it would do to his life, changing hiding spots so often he almost forgot where it was?? Huh? Why play in

                          that case?

                          I don't understand your remark - If the lottery ticket was worth $200 million, there would be all kinds of negative comments...why? Okay, after

                          chewing on that one for a second, the only remark I could see myself making is THANK GOODNESS they finally came forward and the prize will

                          be awarded to a winner and not a program.

                          If you want a negative comment, I might have added...The Mrs. might want to be careful with all that money, she might wind up in a hole right

                          beside the money somewhere in the backyard if it was $200 Million. $1 Million drove him to be secretive, $200 might have driven him over the

                          edge.

                          Confused

                            MADDOG10's avatar - smoke
                            Beautiful Florida
                            United States
                            Member #5709
                            July 18, 2004
                            20110 Posts
                            Offline
                            Posted: February 16, 2011, 3:31 pm - IP Logged

                            What the majority of posters to this story fail to realize, is that it's THEIR money and how they go about claiming it is their business and not ours.

                            I understand everyone has their own opinion on how they do things and thats fine, but it's THEIRS not ours or yours. Why so much negativity, It's their business. 

                            Would'nt it just suffice to wish them Good Luck and be done with it???

                            Maybe other people would'nt handle things as they did for 180 days, but how you handle it would be YOUR business and no one else's .

                            I wish the hills, good luck in their endevours regardless...!

                                                                         

                                                                           "  When Injustice Becomes Law, Resistance Becomes Duty "