California Man Loses $1 Million Powerball Ticket, Can't Claim Prize

Is it coincidence this happened right before Friday the 13th?

ByABC News
March 13, 2015, 12:29 PM

— -- This Friday the 13th is indeed an unlucky day for one California man who could have been more than $1 million richer today.

The man went to a California Lottery office Thursday to claim his winning $1,098,674 Powerball ticket but realized he had lost it, a California Lottery spokesman told ABC News today.

The prize money, now expired, is being donated to California public schools, he said.

"We believe the man who came forward yesterday was the actual guy in the surveillance footage," the spokesman said," but unfortunately, in Powerball rules, you have to have a physical ticket to win."

The man's name is not being revealed at this time, the spokesman said.

Lottery officials released surveillance video on Wednesday of the man, who they believed was the winner, purchasing the winning ticket at Rosemead Supermarket last year, the spokesman said.

They had been looking for the mystery man for 180 days since Sept. 13 of last year when his winning numbers were drawn, the spokesman added.

The man came forward when a retailer at the supermarket recognized him and informed him of his unclaimed prize, the spokesman said.

The winner's ticket matched the numbers 37, 6,1, 53 and 16, missing only the Powerball number 27 to win the big prize, the spokesman added.

Rosemead Supermarket received a bonus of $5,493, half of one percent of the winning amount, the spokesman said, adding that retailers receive the bonus just for selling the winning ticket regardless of whether the winner comes forward or not.

On the bright side, at least the man didn't lose a winning ticket worth $28.5 million in 2003. It remains the largest California Lottery prize unclaimed in the state's history.