Woman Claims She Destroyed $26 Million Lottery Ticket In Wash

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The winner of a $26 million lottery prize may have accidentally destroyed the ticket in the wash. 

Esperanza Hernandez, an employee at a convenience shop just outside of Los Angeles, told the Whittier Daily News that a woman came into the store the day before the lottery deadline. The woman claimed that she had the winning ticket, but unfortunately, she forgot about the ticket slip in her pocket and destroyed it in the wash. 

The woman’s claim is currently under investigation by the California Lottery officials. According to lottery rules, someone who believes they are the ticket winner must complete a claim form. The person must also provide proof of ownership, such as a photograph of the actual ticket.

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The $26 million lottery prize can be distributed to the winner in annual installments, or the winner can accept a $19.7 million cash option. If no one comes forward to claim the prize, the $19.7 million will go directly to the California public school system.

While occasionally a large prize goes unclaimed, the outcome is rare. Only about four substantial amounts have gone unclaimed since 1997.

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