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Palmdale woman claims $23 million lottery win, 5 months after buying the winning ticket

An image from a surveillance camera of a woman lottery officials believed to be holding a ticket worth $23 million.
An image from a surveillance camera of a woman lottery officials believed to be holding a ticket worth $23 million. Courtesy California Lottery

The woman who won the $23 million California SuperLotto Plus Jackpot came forward to claim her prize, five months after the drawing, ABC News reports. If she'd waited 25 more days, she would have forfeited her prize.

"We had our winner come forward and claim the $23 million prize," California Lottery spokesperson Alex Traverso told ABC News.

The woman's daughter reportedly took a photo of her mother that appeared in the newspaper as the Lottery searched for the winner, then sent the photo to her mom. The photo was taken from a surveillance video at Michaels' Market & Liquor in Palmdale, where that winning ticket was sold.

The woman walked out to her car and found the ticket where she left it — she'd never gotten around to checking the numbers.

She filed her claim Thursday and will receive her check in four to six weeks.

Bad news for California schools, though — if the money hadn't been claimed by Nov. 26, California schools would have received the money.

Earlier:

Did you purchase a lottery ticket on May 30 in Palmadale? California lottery officials said it could be worth $23 million.

Officials believe a mystery woman bought the ticket worth $23 million at Michael's Market & Liquor, said spokesman Alex Traverso. She hasn't cashed it in yet and has less than a month left to claim her fortune with the ticket.

Lottery officials synced the time the ticket was sold on May 30 to the surveillance video to determine that a dark-haired woman in a blue or purple top purchased the ticket.

Store owner Ben Sadi remembers selling her the ticket.

“She came in, she bought a bottle of water then she walked outside and her mom yelled at her. She told her to come buy a lotto ticket. She bought one dollar lotto ticket," he said. "She looked like she’s not a lotto player, that’s for sure.” 

 Sadi said there is an oversized check and signs around the store about the jackpot win. He said the store had only been in business three weeks and there weren't many customers when the woman came in, but business has picked up considerably since the win.

“We’ve been selling a lot of lottery tickets.  A lot of people have been winning just thousands and thousands, hundreds…all that," Sadi said. "I have people drive 40 to 50 miles to play in our store because it’s the lucky store over here.”

This story has been updated.

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