Roanoke man claims $100,000 lottery prize in the nick of time
For months, a winning Cash 5 Virginia Lottery prize went unclaimed. Now, a Roanoke man has claimed the prize just two days before the ticket's expiration.
The Cash 5 ticket matched all five numbers in the June 21 drawing, earning the top prize, the odds of which are 1 in 278,256. By law, winning tickets in Virginia expire 180 days after the drawing. This particular ticket would have expired on December 18.
But on the evening of Monday, December 16, just 48 hours before the ticket was set to expire, Carlton Smith of Roanoke presented the winning ticket, with his dog Zeus by his side.
Smith had the ticket in a drawer the whole time, unaware of his good fortune. One day his cousin told him he'd heard about an unclaimed winning ticket and said, "I have a feeling it's you."
He checked the numbers on the ticket, and sure enough: "I have the winning ticket right here, buddy!" When asked how he felt about the discovery, he said, "It really didn't shock me at first."
says someone could be in danger of throwing away $100,000.
A Cash 5 ticket matched all five numbers in the June 21 drawing to win the game’s $100,000 top prize. Since then, no one has come forward with that winning ticket to claim the prize.
By law, winning tickets in Virginia expire 180 days after the drawing. That means the ticket will become worthless at 5:00 p.m. (close of business) Wednesday, December 18.
The ticket was bought at Smokers Choice at 3515 Franklin Road SW in Roanoke.
The winning numbers for that drawing were 4-17-18-30-31.
Unclaimed prizes, by law, go to Virginia’s Literary Fund, which provides low-interest loans to localities for public school construction, renovations and technology upgrades.
Whomever has the winning ticket is urged to contact the Virginia Lottery immediately or present the winning ticket at the Virginia Lottery’s Roanoke Valley Customer Service Center at 1287 Towne Square Boulevard in Roanoke.
The odds of winning the $100,000 top prize are 1 in 278,256.
According to a release, the Virginia Lottery generates more than $1.7 million per day for Virginia’s K-12 public schools. Operating entirely on revenue from the sale of lottery products, the lottery generated a record $650 million for Virginia’s public schools in Fiscal Year 2019. An additional $6.5 million in unclaimed prizes was deposited in the Virginia Literary Fund in FY19, which provides low-interest loans to localities for public school construction, renovations and technology upgrades.