Clarence Jackson Jr. suffered an even greater indignity in 1996, when he turned in his winning ticket from the Connecticut Lottery Corp. three days late - and lost $5.8 million.
Lottery officials try to locate the winners, though there is little they can actually do.
Most maintain a list of unclaimed winning numbers and the expiration dates on their Web sites. And some, like Maryland, hope publicity will bring the missing winners forward.
"We'll issue a news release a few days before the prize is to expire," Brancato says.
One might assume that lottery officials secretly like winnings to go unclaimed. But they don't, because it's not good business.
"We're happy to keep that down," Everett says. "Happy stories means more people will play."
Roogow adds: "I want people to get their rewards, that's why they are playing. ... The bottom line is, there is churn. They reinvest their winnings to some extent, and that's how any business continues to thrive."