Lottery ticket sold in Tolono still unclaimed

Lottery ticket sold in Tolono still unclaimed

TOLONO — Time is running out to redeem a winning Little Lotto ticket sold at a convenience store in Tolono last year.

The winning ticket, worth $50,000, was purchased at Casey's General Store on April 10, 2012. However, no one has yet come forward to claim the money.

Because cash prizes are redeemable up through one year after the drawing, the owner of the ticket has to come forward by the close of business on April 10. If the prize goes unclaimed, "it stays in the fund that would've paid out the prize," according to Illinois Lottery spokesman Mike Lang. "It will end up being used to support the Illinois Common School Fund."

The winning numbers for that drawing were 09, 12, 29, 33 and 35.

To claim the prize, the winner should sign the back of the ticket and call the Illinois Lottery at 217-524-5158 or go to any Lottery retailer and have the ticket scanned.

The Tolono Casey's received a 1 percent selling bonus of $500 for selling the winning ticket.

If the prize is claimed, a total of 30 percent is withheld for federal and state taxes, making the remaining amount of the prize $35,000.

Lang said roughly 1 percent of lottery prizes go unclaimed each year, the equivalent of between $24 million and $26 million.

"It is a lot of money," he said. "A lot of times they either get lost or people mistakenly think they're losers and throw them away. But more often than not, they get misplaced or lost."

Lang said media reports often prompt people to claim winning tickets just before they expire. He noted that a winner in Springfield recently claimed a $150,000 prize within a couple of days of it expiring.

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