Final day for California lottery winner to claim $63 million prize

FILE - In this Jan. 13, 2016 file photo, customers wait to buy lottery tickets at the Blue Bird liguor store in Hawthorne, Calif. With hours to go and $63 million on the line, the mystery remains: Where’s the winning California Lottery ticket - the one sold last Aug. 8, that is - and why hasn’t somebody cashed it? Whatever the reason, it won’t be a good enough excuse if the 5 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 4, 2016 deadline passes and nobody produces the ticket at a lottery office. The ticket was sold at a 7-Eleven store in the Chatsworth neighborhood of Los Angeles.(AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes, File)

Only hours remain before a $63 million California Lottery prize slips through somebody’s fingers.

The winning SuperLotto Plus ticket must be delivered to a lottery office by 5 p.m. Thursday. It could be the largest prize to go unclaimed in California Lottery history if the lucky player doesn’t come forward.

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The ticket was sold on August 8, 2015, at a 7-Eleven store on Lassen Street in the Chatsworth neighborhood of Los Angeles. The winning numbers are 46-1-33-30-16 and the Mega number: 24.

Lottery officials say nobody has claimed the prize, but, at least, one man disagrees. A lawsuit filed Wednesday in Los Angeles says Brandy Milliner turned in the ticket, but it was rejected by lottery officials who said it was “too damaged to be reconstructed,” the suit states. He wants a judge to declare him the winner.

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A California Lottery spokesman said as of Wednesday afternoon they had not been served the lawsuit, had not been contacted by MiIliner’s lawyers and were looking into the claim.

“A California Lottery player is now mere hours away from forfeiting a fortune,” the California Lottery said in a news release. “To date, no one has come forward to claim this jackpot-winning ticket and is now alarmingly close to losing it all!”

If the winner comes forward, they can choose a lump sum of $39.9 million before federal taxes or the $63 million spread out over 30 years.

If no one claims the jackpot, lottery officials say it would become the largest prize to go unclaimed since a $28.5 million-winning ticket sold in the Northern California city of San Lorenzo in 2013.

“This is a good reminder for everyone to always sign the back of your tickets in ink as soon as you buy them and keep your tickets in a safe place,” the news release said. “You never know if one is going to hit and you want to avoid a situation like this.”

Prizes that are forfeited go to support California schools, lottery officials say.

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