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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

A winning $440,000 lottery ticket sold in Washington expires Monday. Here’s what to do if it’s yours

A lottery ticker outside Downtown Quick Stop next to STA Plaza shows Powerball and Mega Millions at $800 million and $1.1 billion Monday.  (James Hanlon/The Spokesman-Review)

A Washington resident could become $440,000 richer – minus federal income taxes – this weekend.

Washington’s Lottery announced in a news release it has an unclaimed winning Hit 5 ticket from last year worth $440,000 that expires at 5 p.m. Monday.

“We want people to know that they should check their tickets and look in their glove boxes and their couch cushions and wherever they might have those random tickets that they haven’t checked,” said Dan Miller, a spokesperson with Washington’s Lottery. “We really do want people who have paid for those tickets, and who might have a winner there, to be able to claim their prizes.”

The ticket was purchased at a Safeway in Vancouver, the release said. The winning numbers, drawn on Oct. 4, are 14, 21, 30, 37 and 39.

It’s unusual for prizes as large as this one to go unclaimed, Miller said.

“More often than not, we see one of two things happen: people know that they’ve won, and they come in right away within that first week after winning, or we see people wait until the very end,” he said.

A few winning tickets, valued at $10,000, were purchased in the Spokane area and are set to expire in September.

In Washington, winners have 180 days after a drawing to claim their prize, otherwise the funds are transferred to a reserve account. Washington’s Lottery transfers funds from that account to the Washington Opportunity Pathways Account, which supports education in the state.

“It does go to a good cause, but the best cause is the people who win,” Miller said.

The lottery has had million-dollar winners come in on the very last day.

“They’ve done that specifically because they’ve contacted a financial advisor and they’ve developed a plan for how they want to claim and invest the money. They’ve gone through their due diligence of what they want to do, and they’ve specifically decided that they wanted to wait and do it at that time,” Miller said.

Because the claiming process for smaller prizes of $600 or less is more convenient, without a trip to a lottery office necessary, those usually don’t go unclaimed.

“Those are pretty often claimed, because you can just go into a retailer and get your money there,” Miller said.

For prizes higher than $600, winners should visit their nearest lottery office. Winners with tickets worth $100,000 or more should call ahead to schedule an appointment.

The Spokane office of Washington’s Lottery is at 4750 N. Division St., Suite 1009.

Roberta Simonson's reporting is part of the Teen Journalism Institute, funded by Bank of America with support from the Innovia Foundation.