A valuable lottery ticket is set to expire today. Hot Lotto ticket worth $16.5 million was purchased at a Des Moines gas station one year ago.
Iowa Lottery spokesperson Mary Neubauer says the holder of the ticket has until 4 p.m. today to present it and claim their prize. Lottery officials have heard from people who claimed to have the ticket, but may have lost it, had it stolen or had it ruined by putting it through the wash.
“We have heard from hundreds of people, many of whom are genuinely concerned that maybe they had this ticket at one point and misplaced it,” Neubauer said. “But, the bottom line is…it doesn’t matter how good of a story you tell us, you have to have the winning ticket and present the winning ticket to the lottery to claim the prize.”
The $16.5 million jackpot is one of the biggest unclaimed prizes ever among U.S. lotteries. If no one comes forward, the prize money will be returned to the 15 Hot Lotto states – with Iowa’s share at roughly $1.3 million. That money would be used toward future lottery prizes.
The winning ticket was purchased at a Quik Trip store at 4801 NE 14th Street in Des Moines. The winning Hot Lotto numbers selected on December 29, 2010 were: 3-12-16-26-33 and Hot Ball 11.