Time's run­ning out for $55m lotto win­ner to claim prize

The Guardian Australia - - News - Naa­man Zhou

A win­ning $55m lot­tery ticket re­mains un­claimed in the Mel­bourne sub­urb of Brunswick, with a lo­cal newsagent mak­ing a fi­nal at­tempt to find the win­ner.

Scole Lotto and Newsagency, a newsagent in the Barkly Square shop­ping cen­tre, sold the win­ning Powerball ticket in Jan­uary to an un­known lucky buyer. Five months later, the un­reg­is­tered ticket has be­come Aus­tralia’s largest un­claimed prize, and Scole Lotto’s owner, Sam Misiano, said he just wants the or­deal to be over.

“I’ve heard some of the strangest sto­ries,” he told Guardian Aus­tralia on Thursday. “Just on and on and on. When is it go­ing to end?”

Misiano and lot­tery com­pany Tatts have launched an ex­ten­sive cam­paign to find the win­ner, fea­tur­ing huge in-store signs, T-shirts and six jog­gers who were told to run up and down the street with signs on their backs.

Sign up to re­ceive the top sto­ries in Aus­tralia ev­ery day at noon

The win­ner has one month to col­lect their win­nings di­rectly from Tatts. Af­ter July 11, the money can still be claimed, but will be held by the Vic­to­rian state rev­enue of­fice.

Misiano said he’d been through months of cus­tomers try­ing to claim the win­nings with a range of un­likely sto­ries.

“Just when you thought you’d heard ev­ery ex­cuse un­der the sun? Well wait, there’s more. One woman said she was cheat­ing on her hus­band, and the hus­band knew she had a win­ning ticket, so he took the ticket off her. Some­one said they sold the car with the win­ning ticket in­side and the car got writ­ten off.”

At first, Misiano and his staff thought they’d picked the win­ner.

“We thought it was some peo­ple who work in the area who also work over­seas,” he said. “They al­ways buy a month in ad­vance, and they play Powerball. It’s their favourite game. We thought OK, they’ve bought it and now they’ve just taken off to the jun­gles of Bor­neo or Malaysia or wher­ever they work. We waited two months for them to come back, but it wasn’t them.

“We had the Aussie Open at the same time and there are so many rental apart­ments which were booked out around here. It could be any­where.”

The ticket had the win­ning num­bers of 32, 7, 5, 34, 38, 11 and the Powerball num­ber of 12.

“We get a lot of win­ners, es­pe­cially now,” Misiano said. “We’re sell­ing about three times as many tick­ets as be­fore we sold that win­ning ticket. I just can’t wait for the win­ner to come for­ward and get the party started.”

Pho­to­graph: Mick Tsikas/AAP

The win­ner has one month to claim the $55m Powerball prize di­rectly from Tattslotto.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.