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Bought a lottery ticket recently? You could be a millionaire and not even know it

Two winning state lottery tickets worth $1 million each have been sold in Bellingham and Sumas in the past month. Both prizes are unclaimed.
Two winning state lottery tickets worth $1 million each have been sold in Bellingham and Sumas in the past month. Both prizes are unclaimed. pdwyer@bellinghamherald.com

If you’ve bought state lottery tickets in Whatcom County in the past month, you may be in luck – two winning tickets worth $1 million each were sold in in the county within the past several months.

According to the Washington’s Lottery website, a $1 million Powerball ticket sold in Sumas has the winning numbers for the Jan. 6 drawing – a pretty good consolation prize in the $559 million jackpot. Also, a $1 million Powerball ticket sold in Bellingham has the winning numbers for the Dec. 9 drawing.

Both prizes are currently unclaimed, according to Stephanie Kirk, a spokesperson for Washington’s Lottery.

The winner of the December drawing – sold between Dec. 6 and Dec. 9 – has until June 7 to claim the prize.

To claim the January winner – sold between Jan. 3 and Jan. 6 – you have until July 5.

Sometimes people don’t realize they’ve won, have misplaced their ticket or it takes time for them to get to a lottery office, Kirk said.

“The first thing we recommend doing with a winning ticket is to sign the back of it. That ensures that you’re the only person who can claim that ticket,” Kirk said.

People can check their numbers on Washington’s Lottery app, go online to the website or check with any Washington Lottery retailer. If the winning amount is more than $601, a person has to visit a regional lottery office. The closest one is in Everett.

If the winnings are $100 million or more, the winner has to travel to Washington Lottery headquarters in Olympia, Kirk said.

When prizes go unclaimed, one-third of the money goes to the Economic Strategic Reserve Account for promoting economic development, Kirk said. The remainder is used for future lottery prizes.

Kirk said she could not disclose yet which retailers in Bellingham and Sumas sold the million-dollar winning tickets.

Denver Pratt: 360-715-2236, @DenverPratt

Winning numbers

▪  Powerball drawing for Dec. 9, 2017: 25, 36, 37, 55, 60, 06. Ticket sold in Bellingham.

▪  Powerball drawing for Jan. 6, 2018: 12, 29, 30, 33, 61, 26. Ticket sold in Sumas.

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