Dec 13

California Mega Millions Winner Remains Elusive Over Christmas

Mega Millions NewsSaturday December 28 2013 – The Californian winner of the Mega Millions jackpot on December 17 has remained elusive over the Christmas period after another week passes without the winner claiming their half of the $648 million jackpot.

The first half of the jackpot, won by Georgia resident Ira Curry, was claimed within hours of the draw taking place. After claiming her share of the prize in a one off cash lump sum equating to approximately $123 million after taxes, Curry and her family promptly disappeared from the public eye, which meant the attention turned back to the mysterious Californian winner.

However, despite copious media attention from across the world, the winner has yet to materialise. Even Jenny’s Gift Shop owner Thuy Nguyen, who received $1 million for selling the winning ticket from his San Jose store, is getting tired of waiting.

“I know everybody wants to find out, but I don’t know. I want to know who won, too. But it’s up to that person about what to do. I just sold the ticket,” Nguyen told reporters from MercuryNews.com today.

Despite initially embracing the media attention which descended on the store ten days ago, Nguyen is now growing weary of the constant attention which is bringing “a lot of drama” to his life. However, there can be no doubt that all this has been excellent for the store’s business. Security guard Mel Cruz told local reporters that people from as far away as Sacramento and Salinas have been visiting the store to see if the lottery luck pays off for them too.

However, while Nguyen and his team may be getting impatient with the constant attention, they are mindful that they are experiencing just a fraction of what the Mega Millions winner will eventually receive.

“There is no hiding,” explained CA Lottery spokesperson Russ Lopez. “There is no anonymity. There is no claiming a prize as a trust. You will be known.” Despite these ominous words, Lopez went on to reassure the winner that they will receive the full support of the CA Lottery once they are ready to claim.

“Just come forward, let us help you with the initial madness, and then start the next chapter of your new life. It’s going to be a heck of a ride.”

by Sadie Walton
Updated January 4th, 2018

Dec 13

Two California Jackpot Winners Yet To Claim Prizes

Monday December 23 2013 – After an incredible week for California lottery players, two jackpots totalling $374 million remain unclaimed after two ticket holders in the state netted half of the $648 million Mega Millions jackpot and the $50 million Super Lotto Plus jackpot.

As previously reported, the Californian $648 million Mega Millions winner from Tuesday December 17 shared the jackpot with another player from Georgia, who has already claimed her half of the prize. Ira Curry, a 56 year old insurance underwriter from Stone Mountain, bought her winning ticket from the Gateway Newsstand in Atlanta and has already opted to take the cash lump sum of $173 million (before taxes).

California Lottery officials quickly confirmed that the winning Mega Millions ticket was purchased from Jennifer’s Gift Shop, located on 1818 Tully Road #154B, San Jose. The owner of the store, Vietnam born Thuy Nguyen, will receive a $1 million retailer bonus for selling the winning ticket and is confident that he will know the lucky winner, as “all his customers are friends too”. At the moment however, all he and the rest of the state can do is speculate until the ticket holder is ready to come forward.

Store owner Thuy Nguyen, who received $1 million by selling one of the winning $648 million tickets (image from NBCLA’s Twitter)

Luck stayed with players in the state the next day, when the California Super Lotto Plus was drawn with a jackpot worth $50 million. The jackpot, which has been rolling over since it was last won at the end of August, was the largest it had been all year and was finally won by a single winning ticket. This ticket was purchased at Finish Line Food Store located on 5084 Katella Avenue in Los Alamitos, Orange Country. This store will receive up to $250,000 for selling the winning ticket.

The store which sold the $50 million Super Lotto Plus winning ticket. (Image from CA Lottery’s Twitter)

State lottery officials are advising both jackpot winners to sign the back of their ticket in ink, put it in a safe place and contact their nearest lottery office as soon as possible. However, despite almost a week going by since the first jackpot win last week, they are not unduly worried about the winner’s silence yet.

“It’s fairly common in cases like this that they’ve hired financial representation and an attorney so they can come forward with a plan of action,” Alex Traverso, spokesperson for the CA Lottery, explained to CBS Local.

However, if months go by without either winner coming forward, Traverso said they do have some tricks up their sleeve. In California, lottery officials can identify the exact date and time the winning tickets were purchased, which then allows them to access surveillance tapes for an image of the player.

This same tactic was used successfully back in November 2012 to track down the owner of a five month old Super Lotto Plus ticket worth $23 million and most recently, but less successfully, in November to sniff out the winner of a $465,539 Powerball prize.

In the meantime, all our California readers are once more reminded to check their Mega Millions and Super Lotto Plus tickets from last week. Those winning numbers were:

Mega Millions – 8, 14, 17, 20, 39 and Mega Ball 7
Super Lotto Plus – 14, 16, 17, 24, 33 and Mega Ball 2

by Mike Redfern
Updated December 23rd, 2013

Nov 13

Why Hasn’t The $130 million New York Powerball Winner Claimed?

Powerball NewsSaturday November 30 2013 – The owner of New York’s first jackpot winning Powerball ticket in more than 20 months has still not claimed their prize, despite knowing they have won the epic jackpot.

Salah Al-Sulaimani, owner of Rocco’s Bakery which sold the winning ticket for the draw on November 16, says the ticket holder had contacted him by telephone several days after the draw to tell him their good news (read more about that here). Although initially sceptical, Sulaimani believed the individual when New York Lottery officials contacted him to confirm the story.

Owner Salah Al-Sulaimani outside Roccos Bakery. (Image Tom Maisel, NY Daily News)

“The person is very nice and they could use the money,” Sulaimani said when questioned by NY Daily News reporters last week. “I wish them nothing but blessings and good luck in their life, only positive things instead of the negativity that come with this kind of thing.” Sulaimani has refused to give away details regarding the identity of the winner, except to say they are local and a regular customer.

Not only did Sulaimani receive $10,000 from the New York Lottery for selling the winning ticket, he has also seen sales of lottery tickets boom since getting his own 15 minutes of fame. “I’m like a local celebrity,” he laughed. “It’s busy, we’ve definitely been selling more tickets. It’s been a very positive experience for us.”

So Where Is The Winner?

There could be any number of reasons why the jackpot winner hasn’t claimed the prize yet, although the most likely is that they are getting comprehensive legal and financial advice on how to handle the $130 million windfall.

For example, jackpot winners can choose to claim their winnings via a trust fund or company, which requires complex legal paperwork. The entity has to be set up and ready to receive the funds prior to the jackpot being claimed.

Alternatively, the ticket holder could be the manager of a syndicate, meaning the funds have to be distributed amongst several people. In this case, they all have to agree how to claim the jackpot – cash or annuity – and will all need individual representation, in addition to group representation.

There is also the issue of anonymity. It is mandatory for New York lottery winners of $1 million or above to release their name to the media, although they can choose to stay out of the public eye. However, even if they turn down press releases and interviews, once their name has been released their contact details can be found easily, which could subject the winner to phone calls, letters or messages on social networking sites begging for cash.

Therfore, a priority for the new winner could be to make their digital and online footprint as small as possible – by changing to a new unlisted phone number, deleting their social media profiles and changing email addresses. The winner could even be considering moving in the short term, to avoid the unwanted attention that a claim can bring.

Whatever the situation of the mystery New York Powerball winner, we at LotteryWorld applaud winners who approach their newfound wealth with caution. Getting all your ducks in a row before the money lands in your checking account is vital to ensuring that you live a long, happy life as a lottery winner. Whoever the winner is, we look forward to meeting them once they are good and ready.

by Sadie Walton
Updated June 8th, 2018

Nov 13

Just Hours Left for Florida’s $16 million Powerball Ticket to Be Claimed

Thursday November 21 2013 – There are just hours left of a 180 day deadline for the owner of a winning Powerball ticket worth $16.6 million to come forward to claim their prize. The ticket was purchased from Carrollwood Market in Tampa Bay, Florida, for the draw on Saturday May 25 and correctly matched all six numbers – 2, 6, 19, 21, 27 and the Powerball 25 – to win a third of the $50 million jackpot.

Carrollwood Market in Tampa, where the winning ticket was sold

The other two jackpot winning tickets from the draw – which were purchased in Delaware and Louisiana – have already been claimed and the prizes paid out, but despite national media attention and repeated calls for all Floridians to check their tickets, the third winner remains elusive.

“It’s here, we’re ready to give it to the rightful owner,” said David Bishop, a spokesman for the Florida Lottery. “We want to give the money away.” The ticket will expire at 23.59 EST tonight and if the winner fails to come forward the prize money will be returned to the state, where 80% of it will go into the Education Enhancement Trust Fund and the remaining 20% will be put into the Florida Lottery prize pool.

Despite the countdown entering its final hours, store owner Nidia Tannous (pictured below), who sold the ticket, remains hopeful. “The store is a neighborhood store, and pretty much 90 percent of our customers are regular customers. We still have a little bit of hope!”

Nidia Tannous, owner of Carrollwood Market

Nidia Tannous, owner of Carrollwood Market (taken from video by Associated Press)

This winner wouldn’t be the first to leave claiming their prize until the last minute. In December 2011, the winner of a $14.3 million Hot Lotto jackpot came forward just two hours before the expiry deadline. More recently, the winner of a $99 million Mega Millions jackpot from Farmville, Virginia waited until two weeks before the ticket deadline to come forward, saying that his wife had to remind him to actually claim the prize!

So if you recall visiting Carrollwood Market back in May and buying a lotto ticket, search in your old purses, under the couch and down the side of your car seats right now to see if you have spent the last six months sitting on that $16 million prize!

In Other Florida Lottery News

The Florida Lotto rolled over again last night, which means Saturday’s estimated jackpot is worth an incredible $34 million! The latest results for the Florida Lotto can be viewed here.

Meanwhile in last night’s Powerball draw, one lucky player from the state successfully matched all five numbers with the Powerplay to win $2 million. Last night’s Powerball numbers can be viewed by visiting Powerball.net so if you haven’t already done so, check your tickets now!

by Sadie Walton
Updated March 29th, 2016

Nov 13

The Search is On to Find California Powerball Winner

Powerball NewsWednesday November 6 2013California Lottery officials are searching high and low for a missing Powerball winner who won $465,539 back in May but still hasn’t come forward and claim the prize.

In an effort to locate the winner before the deadline, officials have released surveillance photos of the person lottery officials believe may be the winner. The ticket was purchased at Whitely Heights Market located at 1900 North Highland Avenue, Los Angeles, and matched the five main numbers drawn on May 22 which were 9, 31, 35, 41, 57. As the ticket was purchased in California, the player won $465,539 due to prizes in the state being paid out on a pari-mutuel basis.

Surveillance image release by CA Lottery

Surveillance image released by the CA Lottery

This isn’t the first time the California Lottery have released pictures to try and find a mystery winning ticket holder and as last year they found two winners using this technique. On August 31 2012 Marita and Bladimir Agnite claimed a $52 million Mega Millions jackpot after receiving a telephone call from an excited relative who had seen a picture of Bladimir on television. Three months later, single mom Julie Cervera claimed a $23 million SuperLotto Plus jackpot after seeing an image of her daughter, who bought the winning ticket on her behalf, flash up on the news.

If the winning $465,539 ticket holder doesn’t claim his prize by 17.00 PST on Monday November 18 then the prize money will be donated to public schools in the state.

As unclaimed prizes are increasingly common, LotteryWorld advises players to sign the back of their tickets, keep them in a safe place and check the numbers immediately after each draw. Tickets can be checked in person at an authorized lottery retailer or online at Lottery.net.

by Patrick Fitzgerald
Updated April 5th, 2016