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$7 Million Lotto Ticket Set to Expire

8 October 2001

TALLAHASSEE, Florida -- (Press Release) -- The Florida Lottery is launching its first-ever search for a winner of an unclaimed FLORIDA LOTTO ticket for an estimated $7 million. Nearly six months have passed since the April 21, 2001 drawing, yet no one has claimed the jackpot. The winning ticket was sold in Fern Park at the Winn-Dixie, located at 7800 South Highway 17-92 in Seminole County.

The winning ticket will automatically expire after 180 days on October 18, at 5:00 p.m. EDT, if no one claims the $7 million jackpot. The ticket was purchased on April 21, 2001, at 5:39 p.m., using the Lottery's Quick Pick method. The winning LOTTO numbers for the drawing are: 05 - 24 - 39 - 41 - 46 -50.

After launching the Lottery's first-ever search for a LOTTO winner, Lottery Secretary David Griffin said, ``The Lottery is famous for giving away lots of money. This prize doesn't belong to us. It belongs to some lucky player and we want to do everything possible to ensure he or she receives the prize.'' The Lottery has conducted three previous searches for missing MEGA MONEY winners. No winners, however, came forward to claim their top prize before those tickets expired.

The last time a LOTTO ticket went unclaimed was for the May 22, 1999 drawing for an estimated $8.4 million LOTTO jackpot. Since the Lottery started in 1988, there have been 18 unclaimed FLORIDA LOTTO jackpot tickets, which have totaled $64.4 million. This could be the second time a winning LOTTO ticket goes unclaimed in Seminole County. The first one, sold in Sanford, expired Sept. 26, 1991, for an estimated $15.8 million jackpot.

By law, all unclaimed prize money must be returned to the prize pool fund, which is used for future prize promotions or cash prizes for winners. The fund is now used to enhance Scratch-Off prizes for winners.

Players who may have purchased FLORIDA LOTTO tickets at the Winn-Dixie retail location are encouraged to check carefully the numbers on any old tickets they may still possess. Some common places players keep their old tickets include: car consoles, cookie jars, sun visors, glove compartments, dresser drawers, wallets or purses, suit pockets, refrigerator magnets, and jewelry boxes.

The LOTTO jackpot must be paid in 30 annual installments. The lump-sum cash option is only available if the ticket is claimed within 60 days after the winning drawing. If claimed, the winner will receive approximately $233,333 per year for the next 30 years.

In addition to asking for assistance from Florida's news media, the Lottery has placed a full-page ad in yesterday's Orlando Sentinel. The Lottery has also placed flyers in more than 800 Lottery retail locations throughout Seminole and Orange Counties.

The latest a LOTTO ticket was claimed before the deadline was in October 1997. The winner cashed in his ticket just six days before the 180-day expiration date for an estimated $8.2 million jackpot.

The winning LOTTO ticket MUST be presented at Lottery Headquarters in Tallahassee or one of 11 District Offices before the 5:00 p.m. deadline on Oct. 18. Players can receive additional information from the Lottery's Player Information Line at 1-850-487-7777 (press 11 for Player Information), or visit the Lottery website at www.flalottery.com

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