MOUNTLAKE TERRACE — Riches might await if you bought a Hit 5 lottery ticket on June 11 at Goodies Food at 4804 212th St.
But not for long.
That Hit 5 ticket, worth $795,000, expires Dec. 8. Better get to one of the lottery’s regional offices in Everett or elsewhere before it closes at 5 p.m. that day.
Or that $1 investment won’t be worth a penny.
Winners have 180 days from the drawing date to claim their prize.
“There are a decent amount of unclaimed winnings that happen every year, but not often on a large amount,” said Dan Miller, the Washington’s Lottery spokesperson.
For instance, someone might win a few bucks and never get around to cashing it in.
“We have not received any clues on this one,” Miller said. “Sometimes someone will reach out and say, ‘I’m planning on coming in.’ To my knowledge we’ve not received any calls.”
A banner outside the door of Goodies says, “$795,000 Hit 5 ticket sold here.”
It doesn’t say the prize has not been claimed.
“A lot of people are asking about it,“ said a cashier who didn’t give his name. He said he hadn’t heard any buzz about who might have won it.
The convenience mart has regular customers who live in the vicinity as well as those making a quick stop while on the go. In addition to milk, bread, beer, smokes and snacks, the store sells CBD products.
Miller said big prizes typically are claimed in one of two ways at the lottery office.
“Either people claim them pretty quickly when they realize they’re a winner and take the next day off to get their money,” he said. “Or sometimes, with the case of very large amounts, they get much closer to the deadline but they have it planned out. They’re meeting with the tax advisor or forming trusts. They do due diligence when they come to get that check.”
That happened several months ago with a $2 million prize claimed the day before expiration.
“That was by design. Nobody found that in the couch cushion,” Miller said.
He said there tends to be an uptick in claims after publicity about expiring prizes. People remember to check their tickets.
Currently there are 23 unclaimed large prizes worth at least $10,000 from Washington’s Lottery, totaling more than $2 million.
A Powerball prize valued at $1 million was purchased in Granite Falls on Nov. 6. That lucky person has until May 5 to claim the loot.
Prizes that aren’t claimed are placed into a reserve account. Each June, the surplus in the reserve account is transferred to the Washington Opportunity Pathways Account, which helps support education in the state.