Many people dream of hitting it big in the lottery, and someone in Middle Tennessee recently did, but never cashed in the winning ticket.
The ticket purchased just before Christmas was a $1 million winner, but the instant millionaire never came forward, and now the prize goes to after-school care.
The Mapco Mart in Cool Springs loves to call itself the "Million Dollar Mapco," but somehow, some way the Dec. 15, 2012, winning ticket vanished.
"There were a number of stories done about the ticket before it expired. You have 180 days to claim your prize," said Rebecca Hargrove, president and CEO of the Tennessee Lottery. "There was news out there telling people, 'If you bought your ticket in Brentwood, look.' But nobody looked."
The piece of unexpected news is almost harder to believe than actually winning.
But this kind of thing happens. This is the fifth $1 million jackpot in Tennessee that has gone unclaimed. In fact, more than 2 percent of the total winnings are unclaimed.
In 2012, there was more than $803 million won in the Tennessee Lottery. From that figure, $13 million went unclaimed.
"Sometimes people don't realize there are nine different ways to win. So if they don't win the jackpot, they don't look to see if they won one of the eight other ways. My advice is always check your ticket, and know there are nine different ways to win on Powerball," Hargrove said.
The biggest unclaimed jackpot in the state was a $3 million prize sold at a location on Haywood Lane in Nashville.
Currently, there is an outstanding $2 million Powerball ticket purchased June 8 in Jackson, but that winner still has time to come forward.
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