A woman claims her winning lottery ticket was destroyed in her laundry, potentially washing away her chances of claiming a US$26 million (A$33.3 million) fortune.
The person who had the winning SuperLotto Plus ticket for the November 14 draw had until Thursday to claim their prize, however, nobody came forward.
The ticket was sold at an Arco AM/PM convenience store in the Los Angeles suburb of Norwalk.
Esperanza Hernandez, an employee at that convenience store, told the Whittier Daily News on Wednesday a woman came into the store and told workers she had put the ticket in her pants and it was destroyed in the wash.
Speaking to US news outlet KTLA-TV, the store manager said there was surveillance footage of the woman who bought the ticket and she was reportedly known to store employees.
The manager said the woman trying to claim her prize was aged in her 40s.
California Lottery officials had a copy of the video, the manager said, and the woman's claim was now being investigated.
However, officials told KTLA-TV CCTV footage would not be enough to verify whether the woman had the winning ticket or not.
Lottery officials say if someone believes they are a winner, they must complete a claim form, if someone loses a ticket they must provide evidence that they owned it.
Evidence could be in the form of a photo of the front and back of the ticket, officials said according to The Associated Press.
The winner of the draw in question could have taken a lump sum of US$19.7 million (A$25.3 million) or annual instalments to the total of A$33.3 million.
However, if the prize is not claimed, the money goes to Californian public schools, the store which sold the winning ticket gets a US$130,000 (A$166,966) bonus.
Officials said it was not uncommon for large jackpots to go unclaimed.
Sydney woman claims $30 million Powerball prize
A woman from Lane Cove, on Sydney's lower north shore, was the sole winner in Powerball's $30 million draw this week.
She was asleep on Thursday night as officials from The Lott tried to contact her, however she finally picked up the phone to receive the good news.
The woman was enjoying a coffee and cereal on Friday morning and getting ready to go to work.
"I’d seen the missed calls and wondered what was going on," she said.
"Then I’ve just checked the app. I can’t believe it. I don’t know what to think."
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