THAT HURTS: Woman Loses $26 Million Lottery Ticket After Putting It In Washing Machine

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A woman says she accidentally put her $26 million winning lottery ticket in the washer and destroyed it.

The store manager of an Arco AM/PM convenience store located in Norwalk, Calif., a suburb of Los Angeles, told KTLA 5 that workers know the woman who bought the ticket and that there is video footage of the purchase.

The manager said the woman came into the store and told them that she put the ticket in her pocket and that it went through the washer. The ticket is now destroyed.

California Lottery officials have the footage, but it is not enough to verify the woman’s claim. Officials need a picture of the front and back of the ticket in order to allow a person to win without the physical ticket.

Read more at The Hill.



  1. If they are 100% sure that she bought the winning ticket it’s terribly cruel not to give her the prize. It may be entirely legal to withhold it, but it just seems wrong.

      • Who are “they”?
        Lottery officials and/or others who have authority to award the prize.

        And how are “they” sure if there is not even a picture of the ticket?
        a) Hence the “If”
        b) “…workers know the woman who bought the ticket and that there is video footage of the purchase.” The footage may be clear enough to show the numbers and/or it may show that she was definitely the only purchaser at the time the ticket was sold. Or not, so again, hence the “If”.

    • Wanna know what’s even more cruel? Not having clear rules that are being consistently followed. If you begin to break the rules because of “compassion”, then you are setting yourself up for much more convoluted cases in the future, which will cause much conflicts, fighting, and consistently suffering. Just keep the peace; the rules are simple: no ticket no prize.

      • Someone who loses a ticket must complete a claim form and provide evidence they owned it, such as a photograph of the front and back of the ticket, the California Lottery said.
        If they are 100% sure that she bought the winning ticket there is no rule-breaking involved here. (In some lotteries there would be, but not in this one.)

        FWIW, I also couldn’t disagree more strongly with your characterization of cruelty. Do you honestly believe it’s kinder to tell the purchaser of the lost ticket “Too bad” than to give them a chance to prove its theirs and claim the $26 million?
        Additionally, what’s “convoluted” here if the only question is did she buy the ticket?
        Lastly, sometimes proof of ownership gets tricky, but that can (and has) happened even when a ticket physically exists. Using your logic, should complicated cases of ticket-ownership also result in forfeiture of the prize?

        • Does she have a photo of the ticket?! No? The rules are clear: no prize without at least a photo of two sides of the winning ticket.
          In general, clear rules keep peace in the long term. In all of life’s situations, not just in lottery. Often it only takes one inconsistency when applying the rules, and all of a sudden you end up in chaos and selective enforcement aka corruption, which usually results in violence and abuse of power, thereby causing untold cruelty. So whatever your emotional reasoning may be, the pass you promote will take you to exactly the opposite of compassion.


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