The National Lottery has found itself dealing with an unusual scenario after the winner of a jackpot has failed to claim the prize, six months on. The winning card expires on Monday.
On May 5, the winning lottery numbers were 10, 12, 22, 23, 30, 31 with 5 as the power number, carrying a NIS 3.3 million (about $890,000 at the time) prize.
Yet no one ever came forward with the winning ticket. In an effort to notify the winner, the lottery company published “wanted posters” in some areas, to no avail.
“Winners usually come after three months, at most four,” Dafna Naim Shaul, sales and marketing VP at the Mifal Hapayis national lottery company, told the Hebrew-language Ynet website. “Waiting until the last day, [this] has not happened.”
If the individual fails to show up by Monday, the money will be returned to the National Lottery, she added. Cash that is not paid out to winners is then used to fund community projects.
Hadashot news television also reported Sunday that a man who won NIS 70,000 ($19,000) in the lottery lost his court battle to collect the money after the company refused to pay out due to a mistake in the four-digit identification number printed on the ticket.
In an effort to prevent money laundering, those who purchase lottery tickets must also provide the last four digits of their national identity card number, which is coded onto the printed ticket. The man had apparently made a mistake, which under lottery rules, prevented him from claiming the prize.
The Tel Aviv Magistrate’s Court ruled in favor of the lottery company after the man admitted he had not filled in the numbers himself, but had given instructions over the telephone to someone else who actually bought the ticket.
The judge, explaining why he felt inclined to rule in favor of the lottery company, noted that according to lottery rules, ticket purchasers must enter the four-digit number themselves.