A half-million dollar lottery ticket, lost for over five months, resurfaced Tuesday so that the owner, Ana Maya of Graham, could claim her Cash 5 jackpot just before the $532,234 ticket expired.
Maya, a 32-year-old customer service worker, bought her lucky Quick Pick ticket for the Sep. 6 Cash 5 drawing. Winners have 180 days to claim their prize before it expires.
Maya said she was in the process of moving to a new house when she won, so she packed the winning ticket in one of her moving boxes. When she started unpacking, the half-million dollar ticket was missing.
“These last couple of months have been very stressful trying to find it,” Maya said. “I totally forgot where I put it.”
As Maya searched, time was running out. The ticket was scheduled to expire on March 6. She finally found the ticket on Tuesday in one of her old notebooks from high school. She said she must have put it in there for safekeeping.
“I was very, very relieved when I finally found it,” Maya said. “That was the last place I would have looked.”
Maya purchased the lucky ticket from Huff’s Interstate on Maple Avenue in Burlington. She claimed her prize Wednesday at lottery headquarters in Raleigh and took home $346,005.
She said she wants to set some money aside for her two small children, pay some bills, invest some, and take a nice vacation.
Cash 5 is one of four lottery games in North Carolina where players have the option of buying their tickets through Online Play, either through the lottery’s website or with the NC Lottery Official Mobile App. Cash 5 tickets are $1 and drawings are held every night. Thursday’s jackpot is $464,000.
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Is there ever going to be a colossal cash 2nd chance drawing?? If so, when?