One guy has just won a million dollars. It may be the greatest moment of his life but now comes the bad news—he can’t have a penny of it!
A video shows the very instant he bought the winning Powerball ticket at a Los Angeles supermarket last September, but he never came forward. California Lottery officials made extraordinary efforts to locate him. The deadline was March 12 at 5 p.m.
The California lottery even posted warnings on the website: “The clock is ticking. Waiting on a winner. One day left.” There was even a check waiting for him at the store.
The search for the winner worked. The lucky guy has just identified himself, but get this, he can't find the ticket. It's lost. Even though the video clearly shows he's the winner, lottery officials say no ticket, no million bucks. Now, the deadline for claiming the prize has officially passed.
Authorities say they had no choice, they will not fork over the million bucks.
Alex Traverso of the California Lottery told INSIDE EDITION, "With the Powerball game, the rules and regulations require the winner to present the winning ticket. That is the only proof of the actual winner. We basically instructed him to maybe make one last ditch effort to go home and look through everything to try and find it."
You'd be amazed how many millions of dollars are never claimed. It is a mind-blowing $2 billion a year nationwide.
Lottery expert Richard Lustig told INSIDE EDITION, "A lot of times people will buy a ticket and they will throw it in the glove box of their car, or they will put it on top of their refrigerator or something like that and they forget about it. Then, the time goes by and it expires and you can't collect. Or they lose it."
But there ways to protect yourself from going from lottery winner to lottery loser.
Lustig said, "When you get the ticket, sign the back of it first so no one else can claim it. That's the first thing. Then, check the ticket the next day. Don't wait two or three days or a week. What happened to this guy is sad but it happens a lot and it's a shame."
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