The almost six-year-old lottery system in North Carolina has seen sixteen lottery tickets go unclaimed. This translates to almost three tickets a year – remember we’re not even in year six yet. Winners have failed to claim prizes worth from $100,000 to as much as $800,000. Seven of the unclaimed lottery tickets were for Carolina Cash 5, and nine were for Powerball. The largest unclaimed ticket was $800,000 for Powerball in 2008.
Then there’s the really bizarre story about a North Carolina couple who came forward to claim their million dollar prize just ONE DAY before their winning ticket became a scrap of worthless paper …
The husband had held onto the winning lottery ticket for months, in spite of desperate attempts by the lottery authorities to locate the winners. When he learned that he had won, he decided to wait before telling his wife. Eventually, one day when she was feeling low, he broke the news of their windfall by casually saying, “Things are not so bad!”
As the months ticked by, the wife begged him to redeem the ticket but, fearful of extravagant publicity, the husband stashed the ticket away in everything from a shoebox to a Bible. At one stage, he thought he had lost the ticket because he couldn’t remember where he had put it. Whenever his wife brought the subject up, he’d simply say, “We’ll talk about it.”
On the day that they finally went to collect the prize, he told lottery officials, “It wasn’t about the money – I was nervous and overwhelmed about the attention we would receive.”