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2 California tickets sold in Mega Millions frenzy set to expire

August 31, 2012 |  7:52 am

Mega Millions ticket
Time is running out for two California lottery players to claim their big paydays.

Almost six months after a record-setting $656 million Mega Millions jackpot, lottery officials have watched 27 winners who matched five of six numbers come forward to claim their $227,955 prize.

Some showed up at lotto offices immediately after the March 30 drawing. Others waited months to turn in their ticket and fly under the radar.

But with only weeks to go before the tickets expire, two winning tickets remain unclaimed.

In a Thursday statement, lottery officials said the outstanding tickets were sold at Hollywood Bazaar on the 6700 block of Hollywood Boulevard and Fox Liquors in San Francisco. No California lottery players matched all six numbers for the grand prize.

Winners have 180 days from the date of the draw to claim their money, the lottery statement said. The two winning tickets will expire Sept. 26, and the unclaimed funds will be transferred to California schools.

In previous interviews with The Times, lottery spokesman Alex Traverso speculated the valuable tickets were probably lost.

“Every day that goes by, the odds increase that the ticket is lost,” Traverso said. “It’s not an amount of money where you want to wait and figure out your financial situation. It’s a nice prize, but it’s not life-changing.”  

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-- Matt Stevens

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Photo: A Mega Millions ticket. Credit: Los Angeles Times.

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