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Hot Lotto prize still unclaimed

April 02, 2006

MARTINSBURG, W.Va.

Two weeks after a Hot Lotto ticket worth $8.47 million was sold at an Eastern Panhandle store, no one has claimed the prize.

The ticket was sold at the State Line Market in Bunker Hill, W.Va., for the March 18 drawing.

"Someone should have shown up," said store cashier MaryAnn Cupano, who sold the winning ticket. "It's like, where did they go?"

The winning numbers in the March 18 drawing were 1, 8, 10, 23 and 33, and the hotball was 11.

Hot Lotto winners have 180 days to claim their prize money, West Virginia Lottery spokeswoman Libby White said. If the prize goes unclaimed, the money will be dispersed among the state's various games, White said.

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If unclaimed after two months, the state Lottery will begin a regional campaign to get the word out about the missing ticket.

"We really want to give someone some money," White said.

The only likely bet is that the winner wasn't one of the regulars at the store near the Virginia state line.

"We wouldn't be sitting here if it was," customer James McGoff said.

Nearly eight years ago, a $100,000 prize from a lottery ticket sold at the store went unclaimed, Cupano said.

Hot Lotto tickets are sold in Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Montana, New Hampshire, North Dakota, South Dakota, West Virginia and the District of Columbia. Chances of winning the jackpot are one in about 11 million, compared to the larger Powerball jackpot, whose chances of winning are one in about 146 million.

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