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A man from New Jersey had struck it lucky in the New York Lottery last year, but he claimed his prize only a year later.
Jimmie Smith bought the lottery ticket that won him $24.1 million back in May 2016, but he learned about his win only this year. The 68-year-old retired security officer had been buying lottery tickets for more than 50 years. However, he would always leave the tickets in his favorite shirt’s pocket and put off checking them to a later time.
Lottery winners usually have only one year to claim their winnings, and there have been many who have failed to do so. According to the New York Gaming Commission, the total amount of unclaimed lottery prizes from 2002 to 2014 was $191 million.
To avoid the same situation for Smith’s unclaimed prize, the commission had urged players to check their tickets before the prize expired. Smith, who was able to find the lucky ticket in his old shirt, finally presented himself to the commission on the last day that he could claim his prize. However, he had to finish some paperwork to prove his identity first and did not collect his prize until only recently.
Smith chose to receive his prize in installments. He said that he wants his whole family to take part in deciding how to use the money.
On the contrary, there are winners who choose to receive their winnings in a lump sum. An example is a woman from Massachusetts who took home a total of $336 million. Because of the dangers that might come with her huge prize, the local police volunteered to increase patrols around her home.