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$1 million lottery prize goes unclaimed

PowerballPowerball: $1 million lottery prize goes unclaimed
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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — It's the big Christmas payout that will never be.

Two months ago, someone won $1 million on a Powerball ticket at an Albuquerque, New Mexico, gas station. The deadline for claiming the huge prize came and went Wednesday, with nobody stepping forward with the winning ticket.

"If I had a million dollars, I could do a lot of good things with it," Kevin Chavez said.

The ticket, which sold late September at the Circle K near Ellison and Coors was worth $1 million.

"That's crazy," Marianne Halkini said. "I just can't believe it."

The days passed and no one was coming forward so signs went up outside that gas station.

"Prizes this large rarely go unclaimed," Linda Hamlin with New Mexico Lottery said in an interview earlier this month.

"But I don't know if I bought a ticket in September," Nickie Dugger tried to remember. "It wasn't me!"

Christmas Eve was the deadline to claim the winnings.

At the lottery office, there was a note just in case that lucky someone stepped forward at the last second, instructing them to call the on-call security guard.

The lottery office closed early Wednesday at 12:30 p.m. During the week, it's normally open until 4:30 p.m. All things considered, no one showed up and that means the money won't be going home with anyone.

"If you're going to spend the money and play for it, you're playing to win but if you don't look at it what's the purpose of getting it?" Halkini asked.

The lottery office says it isn't clear if the winner even lives in New Mexico.

"It would've been a nice chunk of change to put in the bank account, that's for sure!" Chavez said.

This marks the largest unclaimed prize in New Mexico Lottery history. The previous was a not so shabby $265,000.

"It'll make me check my tickets more when I buy them," Dugger said. "I don't buy them often but when I do, I put them somewhere and forget them."

Since no one claimed the winnings, that money will go back into the prize pool.

Here's something worth knowing — in New Mexico big winners have 90 days to come forward and claim their winnings.

KRQE

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16 comments. Last comment 2 years ago by One-Day.
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hearsetrax's avatar - 0118

United States
Member #52345
May 21, 2007
2659 Posts
Offline
Posted: December 26, 2014, 8:42 am - IP Logged

It's the big Christmas payout that will never be.

Two months ago, someone won $1 million on a Powerball ticket at an Albuquerque, New Mexico, gas station. The deadline for claiming the huge prize came and went Wednesday, with nobody stepping forward with the winning ticket.

"If I had a million dollars, I could do a lot of good things with it," Kevin Chavez said.

The ticket, which sold late September at the Circle K near Ellison and Coors was worth $1 million.

"That's crazy," Marianne Halkini said. "I just can't believe it."

The days passed and no one was coming forward so signs went up outside that gas station.

"Prizes this large rarely go unclaimed," Linda Hamlin with New Mexico Lottery said in an interview earlier this month.

"But I don't know if I bought a ticket in September," Nickie Dugger tried to remember. "It wasn't me!"

Christmas Eve was the deadline to claim the winnings.

At the lottery office, there was a note just in case that lucky someone stepped forward at the last second, instructing them to call the on-call security guard.

The lottery office closed early Wednesday at 12:30 p.m. During the week, it's normally open until 4:30 p.m. All things considered, no one showed up and that means the money won't be going home with anyone.

"If you're going to spend the money and play for it, you're playing to win but if you don't look at it what's the purpose of getting it?" Halkini asked.

The lottery office says it isn't clear if the winner even lives in New Mexico.

"It would've been a nice chunk of change to put in the bank account, that's for sure!" Chavez said.

This marks the largest unclaimed prize in New Mexico Lottery history. The previous was a not so shabby $265,000.

"It'll make me check my tickets more when I buy them," Dugger said. "I don't buy them often but when I do, I put them somewhere and forget them."

Since no one claimed the winnings, that money will go back into the prize pool.

Here's something worth knowing — in New Mexico big winners have 90 days to come forward and claim their winnings.

Hurray!Hurray!Hurray!Hurray!Hurray!Hurray!Hurray!Hurray!

    Tony Numbers's avatar - Lottery-022.jpg
    Bronx ny
    United States
    Member #158517
    August 25, 2014
    286 Posts
    Offline
    Posted: December 26, 2014, 8:44 am - IP Logged

    Wow 90 days to claim that's a small window. Here in new York its one year. Despite the time you have to claim, the reason this keeps happening is the players cavalier attitude toward the lottery.Aside from losing the ticket or the ticket getting washed with the laundry,players should be more careful with their tickets.Treat them as if they are worth a million dollars.

      Avatar
      Albuquerque, New Mexico
      United States
      Member #3837
      February 24, 2004
      20 Posts
      Offline
      Posted: December 26, 2014, 9:04 am - IP Logged

      Wow, I didn't have the ticket because I don't shop Circle K , much less, that store by the mall.

      Albuquerque, New Mexico

       

      Party

        Avatar
        Wyomissing, PA
        United States
        Member #161050
        November 15, 2014
        301 Posts
        Offline
        Posted: December 26, 2014, 9:32 am - IP Logged

        Surely, the gas station has surveillance cameras?... Or were they not working? and/or video deleted?

        One has to wonder if the New Mexico Lottery really wanted the winner to come forward; didn't look too hard. Always seemed odd to me that unclaimed property laws don't apply to the lottery. I realize there are some significant differences, in particular, the owner of the winning ticket often isn't known.

        Anyways, 90 days, or heck, even 180 days, which is common, is a relatively short period of time for filing a claim. 1 year isn't all that great either, but seems sufficient to cover most scenarios - snowbirds away over the winter, students away at school, one being in the hospital, etc.

        Registered tickets (subscriptions, which some jurisdictions already offer) would eliminate much of the who's the winner mystery, and make for a more secure claims process. As well as a safer one for lottery officials - it's just a matter of time before someone wins, waits too long, their claim is denied, and they go berserk. In the view of many players, hitting the big one and being denied the prize is far worse than simply losing.

        On the bright side, after an extended period of time, most often such winning tickets are never found - player doesn't know they won, and the lottery keeps the money with no one being the wiser. Not sure 90 days qualifies as an extended period of time - have a bad feeling about this one.

          dallascowboyfan's avatar - tiana the-princess-and-the-frog.jpg
          Oklahoma
          United States
          Member #82391
          November 12, 2009
          6290 Posts
          Offline
          Posted: December 26, 2014, 9:36 am - IP Logged

          Darn, I hate reading stories like this hope the person did not pass away.

          I Love Pink & Green 1908

            maringoman's avatar - images q=tbn:ANd9GcTbRxpKQmOfcCoUqF2FyqIOAwDo7rg9G-lfJLAALPGWJWwiz19eRw
            Massachusetts
            United States
            Member #37433
            April 14, 2006
            2747 Posts
            Offline
            Posted: December 26, 2014, 11:11 am - IP Logged

            I hope that the player never finds the ticket because it's going to hurt when they do. I used to hide tickets in the books I happened to be reading and to this day I still find tickets from as far back as 2007. Non of them are winners because I do check them. I have to. To silence the demons LOL

            That money's gone fo ever

              lottoguysocal's avatar - atlantis dubai_1118783i.jpg
              camarillo, ca
              United States
              Member #132476
              September 4, 2012
              144 Posts
              Offline
              Posted: December 26, 2014, 11:35 am - IP Logged

              sad situation unfortunately.  I can only hope the person doesn't live in NM and was just passing through, bought it and never checked it.  This is just a friendly reminder that if you're going to play, CHECK YOUR TICKETS ladies and gentlemen.

                mypiemaster's avatar - 2015021003pileofcash
                JACKPOT HUNTER

                United States
                Member #141034
                April 2, 2013
                1408 Posts
                Offline
                Posted: December 26, 2014, 8:23 pm - IP Logged

                Trouble is, The Lottery is going to feed us the usual BS about this money going towards education. Who has the intestinal fortitude to stand against "education", and risk being called Boko Haram or the Taliban. This type of windfall, should be a windfall for the players, not for The Lottery. The money should be divided equally and applied to all tiers of the prize structure. The players have suffered enough already.

                Seek and ye shall find -Matt. 7:7 ...Ask and ye shall receive -John 16:24 ...Give and it shall be given unto you -Luke 6:38 ...Be careful what you ask for!!! -Mypiemaster 1:1

                Having Money Solves Problems That Not Having Money Creates Yes Nod ****John Carlton****

                  Avatar

                  United States
                  Member #160355
                  October 25, 2014
                  101 Posts
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                  Posted: December 26, 2014, 9:15 pm - IP Logged

                  Trouble is, The Lottery is going to feed us the usual BS about this money going towards education. Who has the intestinal fortitude to stand against "education", and risk being called Boko Haram or the Taliban. This type of windfall, should be a windfall for the players, not for The Lottery. The money should be divided equally and applied to all tiers of the prize structure. The players have suffered enough already.

                  Agreed. "We" keep "throwing" money at education and getting the same results.  So throwing even more money at it makes what kind of sense?

                  As far as any unclaimed lottery money goes, it should all be put into a year end raffle and hold a "special" drawing tax free to the winner(s).

                    rcbbuckeye's avatar - Lottery-043.jpg
                    Texas
                    United States
                    Member #55889
                    October 23, 2007
                    5611 Posts
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                    Posted: December 26, 2014, 10:27 pm - IP Logged

                    Well, if someone is so stupid as to spend money on a ticket and then lose out out because they couldn't be bothered to check it, they don't deserve to have the money.

                    I work with a guy who from time to time tells me he bought a ticket and hasn't checked it. I ask him why bother buying it in the first place. His answer is he gets too busy to check it. My answer is he doesn't deserve to win.

                    CAN'T WIN IF YOU'RE NOT IN

                    A DOLLAR AND A DREAM (OR $2)

                      weshar75's avatar - Lottery-042.jpg
                      Mcminnville, Oregon
                      United States
                      Member #3013
                      December 13, 2003
                      3052 Posts
                      Offline
                      Posted: December 26, 2014, 11:02 pm - IP Logged

                      Well, if someone is so stupid as to spend money on a ticket and then lose out out because they couldn't be bothered to check it, they don't deserve to have the money.

                      I work with a guy who from time to time tells me he bought a ticket and hasn't checked it. I ask him why bother buying it in the first place. His answer is he gets too busy to check it. My answer is he doesn't deserve to win.

                      Maybe that is why I will never win because I check my tickets right after the drawing.  I do not wait because I want to kick off the party time.-weshar75

                      US Flag

                        Marilyn222's avatar - thumb 350-286546.jpg
                        Denver
                        United States
                        Member #117684
                        October 12, 2011
                        552 Posts
                        Offline
                        Posted: December 27, 2014, 12:08 am - IP Logged

                        Maybe he/she forgot all about it and it's still there sitting in the car or on top of the fridge...lolLOL

                        White Bounce

                          mikeintexas's avatar - tx avatar-1.gif
                          Texas Panhandle
                          United States
                          Member #136843
                          December 20, 2012
                          1280 Posts
                          Offline
                          Posted: December 27, 2014, 6:43 am - IP Logged

                          Well, if someone is so stupid as to spend money on a ticket and then lose out out because they couldn't be bothered to check it, they don't deserve to have the money.

                          I work with a guy who from time to time tells me he bought a ticket and hasn't checked it. I ask him why bother buying it in the first place. His answer is he gets too busy to check it. My answer is he doesn't deserve to win.

                          Yeah, you're right, but it makes me wonder what the story is behind an unclaimed JP.  I have almost always checked my numbers shortly after the drawing and on Friday and Saturday nights I usually stay up to see if anyone has won.  I have several of those Texas Lottery "wallets" the retailers give out and one is where I now keep my tickets, plus any lottery or scratch-off winners in the other section.  I have won a few bucks on scratchers and put them on my desk or in the console of my truck and accidentally covered them over or forgot about them and had them expire. (hasn't been much, but it's only been annoying, not heartbreaking)  Now I put winners in the wallet and cash them in and use them when buying the next round of lottery numbers.

                          Too busy to check?  Good grief.  You'd think if he had the time to buy a ticket, he'd have enough time to check it.

                            Artist77's avatar - batman14

                            United States
                            Member #121745
                            January 16, 2012
                            4792 Posts
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                            Posted: December 27, 2014, 8:12 am - IP Logged

                            I still think people either lose it or die. I have also had people tell me once someone won the jackpot

                            (out of the area), they never check their tickets.

                            J'aime La France.