Lotto winner has two weeks to claim prize

Desert Sun Wire Service July 14, 2008

Time is running out for the person or group who purchased a MEGA Millions lottery ticket in Corona in January that's worth $174,574, California Lottery officials said today.

The ticket purchased at a 7-Eleven store at 702 W. Sixth St. contained five of the six winning numbers in the 12-state MEGA Millions drawing of Jan. 29. Those numbers were 23, 8, 42, 39 and 40.

The claim period expires two weeks from today, on July 28. The prize, if unclaimed by then, will be rolled into a state education fund for the benefit of California schools, Lottery officials said.

No tickets had all five winning numbers plus the MEGA number, 24, in the Jan. 29 drawing.

A Dana Point man bought the only other ticket with five winning numbers and claimed his $174,574 cash prize the day after the drawing, Lottery officials said.

According to Lottery officials, less than 2 percent of prizes are never claimed. But even the unclaimed money adds up. For fiscal year 2006-2007, more than $29 million in winnings went unclaimed.

After 180 days, the claim period for prizes ends, and the Lottery distributes the money to public schools.