Man Wins Lottery Without Knowing It, Loses Ticket, Probably Cries

rosemead_groceryA man in southern California is living the nightmare of all lottery players: he bought a Powerball ticket in September of last year, and won the game without realizing it. The California Lottery tried to identify the winner as the deadline loomed, releasing surveillance camera footage of him to news outlets. He recognized himself…but he no longer has the winning ticket.

Understandably, this man doesn’t want to come forward and admit to the entire world that he not only forgot to check the lottery numbers, but lost a $1 million slip of paper. It’s bad enough that people who know him have surely recognized him from that surveillance footage. While it’s clear that he was the person who bought the ticket, that isn’t enough to collect the $1.1 million in winnings. According to the ancient and mystical rules of Powerball, he has to present the original ticket. He doesn’t have it. The deadline passed on Thursday, and he was unable to find the ticket in time.

The California Lottery says that unclaimed prizes go to public schools. We suggest that they use it to fund a personal finance curriculum: perhaps one that includes lessons on how to play the lottery without ever losing. Or at least how to successfully use bulletin boards to keep potentially important papers from being swept into the trash.

He won the lottery! But lost his ticket [Los Angeles Times]

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