Man Finds Winning Lottery Ticket In Pocket Two Days Before Deadline

Randolph Lopez
October 15, 2017

Jimmie Smith had bought the tickets almost a year ago, and claimed his prize with just two days to go before its expiry date. "I always told myself, I'll check them when I have the time", he said. When he heard on the local news that no one had claimed a mega millions jackpot, he searched through his old tickets and found the winning numbers 5-12-13-22-25-35. "If you have this winning ticket, we look forward to meeting you", Gweneth Dean, director of the Commission's Division of the Lottery, said at the time. While the New York Gaming Commission knew where the winning ticket had been bought, they were unable to find out who was the victor.

More than a year ago, Smith bought a ticket to the New York Lotto.

That was good timing, because he has only two days before a deadline to claim his prize.

The highest ever single victor of the New York Lottery was Harold Diamond, who collected $326 million in 2014.

New York Lottery revenue is distributed to local school districts by the same statutory formula used to distribute other state aid to education.

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"We are thrilled that this lucky victor was able to locate this life-changing ticket", Dean, of the gaming commission, said. "I didn't see the face or anything".

That was on May 23, 2017.

According to the game commission, the lottery victor Smith chose to go with $24 million in installments over 26 years.

After completing a review, the NY lottery released Smith's name on Wednesday. Smith, a father of two and grandfather of 12, said he plans to have an "all-family discussion" about what to do with the windfall.

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