$26 Million Lottery Ticket May Have Been Washed in the Laundry

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Thursday was the last day for the person to contact the California Lottery officials and claim their prize. If unclaimed, the money goes to the public schools, CBS LA reported.

Time is up and the $26 million winning lottery ticket purchased at a California convenience store six months ago has gone unclaimed. Some suspect that the winner may have accidentally washed the ticket in her laundry. And, now it's gone for good. 

Jackpots must be claimed within 180 days from the winning draw date. Thursday was the cut-off date. The cash value of $19.7 million will be transferred to California public schools, according to California State Lottery officials, the Los Angeles Times reported. 

The winning Super Lotto Plus ticket was sold at an Arco AM/PM convenience store in Norwalk, California. The winning numbers in the Nov. 14 drawing were 23, 36, 12, 31, 13 and the mega number was 10, NBC News reported.

Some of the employees and customers at the convenience store were surprised when they heard the news. A regular customer of the store told CBS LA that they knew who the woman who claimed to have bought the winning ticket was. They said she recently came back to the store and explained that she accidentally lost the ticket in her laundry.

A store employee told CBS News that their surveillance footage backs up the woman's story that last November 14th, she apparently bought the Super Lotto Ticket with the winning numbers. 

Video from a security camera was given to lottery officials; however, a California lottery spokesperson told CBS that store surveillance footage was not enough to verify the winning purchase and that her ticket expired yesterday. 

A photo of the front and back of the ticket officials said would have been the only way to prove the existence of the $26 million ticket. 

“For jackpots to not be claimed is uncommon,” said a lotto spokesperson, the LA Times reported.“It’s actually very uncommon.”

The gas station was still able to collect on the $130,000 bonus for selling the winning ticket, a report said.

The woman, however, is able to file a claim for an investigation, CBS said.

One customer told CBS LA who said he was stunned when he heard the news offered some advice of his own. “The lesson here is to start taking pictures of your ticket or to keep a record of it here somehow."

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