Unclaimed $500,000 Pennsylvania Lottery ticket set to expire

PITTSBURGH, PA – A winning Cash 5 ticket worth $539,359.50 was purchased Feb.13, 2010, at the BP on Evergreen Road in Millvale. Saturday, for the seemingly forgetful “winner”, is the last day that the cab claim the ticket.

“I keep telling my managers to tell customers, ‘Hey, check your ticket,’ ” said store owner Durlabhji “Duke” Ukani, who will receive $5,000 for selling the winning ticket regardless of whether it is claimed. “This was the biggest one ever bought at my store.”

State lottery tickets expire one year after the date of the drawing, with less than 2 percent of prize money going unclaimed each year, lottery officials said.

Last year, only two winning tickets worth $50,000 or more bought in Western Pennsylvania expired, said Kirstin Alvanitakis, a Pennsylvania Lottery spokeswoman.

The two tickets in question were a Cash 5 ticket worth more than $400,000 bought in Natrona Heights, which expired in October. A winning Powerball ticket worth $200,000 bought in New Stanton, Westmoreland County, expired in July.

Unclaimed prize money remains in the lottery fund and is used to support programs for older Pennsylvanians.

“We would prefer if the holder of the ticket would come forward to claim the prize,” Alvanitakis said. “We never like to see large prizes go unclaimed.”

Published: February 9, 2011

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