A North Carolina couple has come forward to claim a $1 milion lottery prize the day before it was due to expire.
Yesterday, news spread that the winning lottery ticket had not been claimed and was due to expire today. Many thought the winner lost the ticket or forgot to check the numbers. Lottery winners have 180 days to claim their prizes.
But Erin and Raleigh Hill of North Carolina knew they had the winning ticket that they purchased in Stallings, near Matthews, in August 2010. They just weren't ready to come forward. So they kept the $1 million lottery ticket secreted in various places, including a Bible, a shoebox and, finally, a work locker.
Midafternoon Tuesday, the nervous couple knew they had to face "the hoopla." They drove to Raleigh to claim the Mega Million prize that was set to expire at 5 p.m. Wednesday, officials said.
That brought an end of recent frantic searches by others through glove compartments, cupboards and wallets -- just in case they had the winning ticket.
The Hills each received a lump sum of $340,000 after taxes, the North Carolina Education Lottery said in a statement.