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Woman says she accidentally put $26M winning lottery ticket in the washer

A woman says she accidentally put her $26 million winning lottery ticket in the washer and destroyed it. 

The store manager of an Arco AM/PM convenience store located in Norwalk, Calif., a suburb of Los Angeles, told KTLA 5 that workers know the woman who bought the ticket and that there is video footage of the purchase.

The manager said the woman came into the store and told them that she put the ticket in her pocket and that it went through the washer. The ticket is now destroyed.

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The winning ticket was purchased on Nov. 14, 2020, with Thursday being the last day the ticket could be redeemed for the prize. 

California Lottery officials have the footage, but it is not enough to verify the woman’s claim. Officials need a picture of the front and back of the ticket in order to allow a person to win without the physical ticket. 

Lottery spokeswoman Cathy Johnston said the claim will still be investigated, according to The Associated Press.

The $19.7 million will go to California public schools if the woman’s claim can’t be verified. 

The winner of the lottery would have received $26 million in annual installments or $19.7 million in cash.

A $130,000 bonus will also be given to the store that sold the ticket.