Indianapolis couple could have lost out of a
$2.5 million windfall
Lori and Eric White of Indianapolis had a close call
this week when they almost missed out on a lottery win
of $2.5 million – finding and claiming on the ticket
just one week before the expiry date of the prize.
Eric White didn't realise he'd left the $2.5 million
winning Hoosier Lotto ticket sitting on the desk in the
study of his Indianapolis home for six months.
On Friday, he and his wife, Lori, cashed in; beating the
odds by turning in the winning ticket a week after
lottery officials said the prize wouldn't be awarded
because the 180-day deadline had passed.
Officials extended the deadline to February 22 after
discovering the expiration date had been miscalculated.
After watching television news of the expiry
date, Lori White (38) said she sent her husband a text
message Tuesday night asking if he had any old lottery
tickets. But it took another two days before he got
around to carrying out a search and found the winning
ticket along with others.
"They were in a pile
of books on the desk," said 39-year-old Eric White.
Friday morning, the couple consulted a financial adviser
and went to the lottery's office to verify they had the
winning ticket, bearing numbers 4-5-17-30-38-43.
Hoosier Lottery spokeswoman Lucia Anderson said no
Indiana winner has ever stepped forward so late to claim
a large prize. The couple received a check for about
$697 000 after taxes.
If the Whites hadn't come
forward, it wouldn't have been the largest unclaimed
prize. Hoosier Lottery spokesman Andrew Reed said a $5
million Hoosier Lotto jackpot went unclaimed in March
2004, and no winner stepped forward in September 2002 to
claim their $50 million Powerball jackpot.
2007, a $19 million New Jersey Lottery prize wasn't
claimed. Florida's largest unclaimed payout was a $50
million Lotto ticket sold in 2003, and no one produced a
winning $7 million Lotto Texas ticket last year.