Woman’s $26M lottery ticket reportedly destroyed in laundry

"Her clothes were washed and when she pulled it out, it was all crumpled up into little pieces"

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A California woman said she washed her potential fortune away…literally.

The winner of a $26 million SuperLotto Plus ticket for a Nov. 14 drawing bought a ticket at an Arco AM/PM convenience store in Norwalk, a Los Angeles suburb. Thursday was the final day to claim the ticket, according to ABC News.

Esperanza Hernandez, an employee at the store, told Whittier Daily News that a woman came in the store on Wednesday to notify workers that her ticket was left in her pants pocket and destroyed in the laundry.

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According to KTLA-TV, a manager told the station that surveillance footage showed the same woman who purchased a ticket and confirmed she is known by the workers.

A regular customer named Bobby Henley told KCBS that he ran into the unidentified woman.

“Her clothes were washed and when she pulled it out, it was all crumpled up into little pieces and she said she frantically tried to put it back together, but she couldn’t,” said Henley. “I’d be kicking myself for the rest of the month. I wouldn’t be very happy.”

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Cathy Johnston, a lottery spokeswoman, says the claim will be investigated. Lottery officials say if someone like the woman believes they’re the winner must complete a claim form but if the ticket is lost, they must provide evidence of ownership with a photograph of the front and back of the ticket.

If the prize remains unclaimed, the $19.7 million will go to California public schools, according to ABC News.

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