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Legislator wants Lottery to help find those with forgotten winning tickets

State Rep. Joe Atkins wants to help protect those who lose or forget their winning tickets. One $1 million winner will forfeit the prize if he or she doesn’t claim the winnings by tomorrow.

Pointing out that someone bought a winning Power Ball ticket worth $1 million in Hennepin County one year ago — and will forfeit the prize if he or she doesn’t claim the winnings by tomorrow — state Sen. Joe Atkins says the state should help out such lucky, yet unlucky, souls.

Atkins said he’ll introduce legislation with two steps to help the state identify and get the money to winners of unclaimed lottery prizes over $100,000:

  • Minnesota Lottery would be required to publicize the location where the winning ticket was purchased as several other states currently do.
  • If a winning Lottery ticket goes unclaimed for 10 months, the Lottery would review video footage and purchasing records from the store where the winning ticket was purchased in an effort to identify and notify the winner, if possible.

“It breaks my heart to see a $1 million prize be forfeited to the State,” Atkins said in a statement. “Like the Minnesota Lottery ads say over and over, ‘This is an amount that could change someone’s life.’ But not if the winner never gets their money. All I am proposing are a couple simple, common-sense steps to help Minnesotans get what belongs to them.”

The milliion-dollar Power Ball ticket, which expires at 5 p.m. Thursday, was purchased in Hennepin County last March and has the numbers: 28-33-41-44-59 and a Powerball of 21.

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Atkins said that in 2014, Minnesota lottery players forfeited $9.4 million in winnings.