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Loser: Indiana lottery winner fails to claim $1 million prize in time

By Kevin Conlon, CNN
October 9, 2013 -- Updated 1256 GMT (2056 HKT)
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Indiana lottery winner becomes loser by not claiming $1 million
  • Winners have 180 days from the drawing to come forward
  • "Winner" failed to claim $50 million Powerball jackpot in 2002
  • States kept $800 million in unclaimed prizes in 2011

(CNN) -- The champagne wishes and caviar dreams of the person in Indiana holding April's winning Powerball ticket will officially remain just those -- wishes and dreams, if not a nightmare -- after failing to claim their $1 million prize.

Indiana's 180-day window for lottery winners to come forward came to a close Monday for the unlucky soul who purchased the lucky ticket in the April 10 drawing at the Circle K in Jeffersonville.

"It is rare, but not unheard of, that a prize of such magnitude goes unclaimed," Indiana Lottery spokeswoman Stephanie McFarland said.

When it comes to "unclaimed magnitude," whoever missed out can at least take solace in the fact they didn't set a record for being the biggest loser among gambling Hoosiers: In 2002, someone in Indiana missed out on a $50 million Powerball jackpot, McFarland said.

Absentminded lottery players can provide big boosts for state coffers, because unclaimed prize money is retained by the state. Chuck Strutt of the Multi-State Lottery Association told CNNMoney in a recent article that $800 million in lottery winnings went unclaimed nationwide in 2011.

McFarland told CNN that the state makes no special effort -- such as reviewing Circle K's surveillance tape -- to try to figure out who this, or any other "winner," is.

"If only we had had this conversation the other day -- before the deadline," she told CNN. "Maybe (the winner) would have seen the press coverage and been reminded that they had purchased the ticket."

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