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Millionaires Are Made In Chicago From an Unclaimed Lottery Ticket

A Chicago local recently hit the jackpot with an unclaimed lottery ticket. A Chicago man, Irvin Przyborski, 61, a retired truck driver, came across an old lottery ticket worth $9 million, when looking through his tax records. Going through his tax documents, WBBM radio reports, Przyborski came across an old Illinois Lottery ticket from March of 2010. He had bought a number of tickets around that time, and went through most of them, finding no winners. One of them had apparently fallen into his tax file inadvertently. After he unearthed the missing numbers, he took them to his local corner store, only to discover that he was suddenly a millionaire.

The ticket was set to expire at 5 p.m. on March 24, nine days after his accidental find. Winning tickets are invalid one year after the drawing date. As the Chicago Tribune reports, the ticket would have been by far the largest unclaimed sum in Illinois Lottery history. Lotto winnings that go unclaimed are donated to the state’s education fund, which, according to LotteryPost.com, receives about $2 million a month of such unredeemed dollars.

Przyborski, whom Lottery spokeswoman Tracy Owens describes as “quiet” and “laid-back,” took his winnings in a lump sum. He bought the winning ticket at a 7-Eleven at 107th and Ewing on Chicago’s Southeast Side. He had bought the Lotto ticket with the winning numbers 5-20-31-34-50-51 in March at a 7-11 store.

He was taking it all in in stride and showed a concern for people not so lucky. When asked about his huge winnings, he told the Chicago Tribune: “What’s the big deal? It’s not even worth putting in your paper. It’s like watching paint dry. Look at the people who are out of work. People with doctorates can’t find work. There’s nothing joyful about winning money in a situation like this.”

The Lotto ticket was in among a number of other tickets he had put into a file to check the numbers when he got around to it. The others were mostly worthless, but the winning one was the largest unclaimed prize in Illinois history. He called his lawyer, and the lawyer claimed the prize for him.

‘We never get this close to a ticket this large going unclaimed,’ a lottery spokesman said. If Przyborski had not claimed the cash, it would have been donated to the Illinois state education fund. The fund gains about $2 million each month from unclaimed Lotto prizes.

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