Where are those top prizes?
Two $500,000 Tickets Left in Cash Spectacular Game

DENVER – One Colorado Lottery game is close to selling out, and two of the eight $500,000 top prizes have yet to be claimed. The $35 Million Super Cash Spectacular Scratch game is about three weeks from disappearing off store shelves, with 97 percent of the tickets sold.

“Although there’s a chance that the tickets with the top prizes haven’t been sold, we’re starting to wonder if someone might have thrown away a winner,” said Peggy Gordon, director of the Colorado Lottery. “If the tickets are still available, then players increase their chances of winning the top prize by nearly eight times.”

In the $35 Million Cash Spectacular game, the original odds of winning the $500,000 prize were 1 in 630,000. Now with only about 155,000 tickets left in the game, the odds of buying a $500,000 ticket become 1 in 77,700.

When the game started, there were eight top prizes of $500,000. The other six $500,000 tickets were sold in Colorado Springs (7-Eleven), Denver (Crossroads Liquor), Denver (7-Eleven), Englewood (7-Eleven), Hayden (Hayden Kum N Go), and Northglenn (Yatra, Inc.).

The last time top prizes were unclaimed in a sold-out Scratch game was in 2005 when both of the top $100,000 prizes in $10 Magic Numbers went unclaimed.

“Fortunately we don’t encounter this situation often,” said Gordon. “We want the prizes in all of our games to be claimed and want to see the positive impact it has on our players.”

Regardless of the prize amount, winning Scratch tickets are placed randomly by computer during the printing of the tickets. The process involves a sophisticated process of multiple checks and balances to ensure the integrity of the game.

Players who purchase non-winning $35 Million Cash Spectacular tickets also have a chance at winning a top $500,000 prize. The game offers a second-chance drawing prize equivalent to the top instant prize. Players can enter the second-chance drawing by dropping off non-winning tickets at one of the Lottery’s four claims centers, or by mailing it to the address on the back of the ticket.

The Colorado Lottery offers more than a dozen second-chance drawings each year on select Scratch games. Players can enter their non-winning tickets for the second-chance drawings by mail or via the Internet. To see the current list of eligible drawings, visit the Web at www.coloradolottery.com/games/scratch/secondchance. Second-chance winners of top prizes are drawn 60 days after the game ends.

Players have 180 days after a game ends to claim their prizes. Unclaimed prizes of any amount, whether $1 or more than $1 million, eventually are allocated to the Lottery's proceeds beneficiaries.

Proceeds from the Colorado Lottery’s games – Scratch, Lotto, Powerball, and Cash 5 – stay in Colorado to improve the quality of life in the state by providing grants and direct funding for parks, recreation, open space acquisition, trails, wildlife and conservation education. Since the lottery started in 1983, more than $1.8 billion has been returned to the state. 

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May 11, 2007
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