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6 months on, mystery Israeli fails to pick up $890K lottery winnings

If individual who won NIS 3.3 million in May doesn’t come forward by Monday, winnings will return to draw company

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The National Lottery has found itself dealing with an unusual scenario after the winner of a jackpot has failed to claim the prize, six months on. The winning card expires on Monday.

On May 5, the winning lottery numbers were 10, 12, 22, 23, 30, 31 with 5 as the power number, carrying a NIS 3.3 million (about $890,000 at the time) prize.

Yet no one ever came forward with the winning ticket. In an effort to notify the winner, the lottery company published “wanted posters” in some areas, to no avail.

“Winners usually come after three months, at most four,” Dafna Naim Shaul, sales and marketing VP at the Mifal Hapayis national lottery company, told the Hebrew-language Ynet website. “Waiting until the last day, [this] has not happened.”

If the individual fails to show up by Monday, the money will be returned to the National Lottery, she added. Cash that is not paid out to winners is then used to fund community projects.

Hadashot news television also reported Sunday that a man who won NIS 70,000 ($19,000) in the lottery lost his court battle to collect the money after the company refused to pay out due to a mistake in the four-digit identification number printed on the ticket.

In an effort to prevent money laundering, those who purchase lottery tickets must also provide the last four digits of their national identity card number, which is coded onto the printed ticket. The man had apparently made a mistake, which under lottery rules, prevented him from claiming the prize.

The Tel Aviv Magistrate’s Court ruled in favor of the lottery company after the man admitted he had not filled in the numbers himself, but had given instructions over the telephone to someone else who actually bought the ticket.

The judge, explaining why he felt inclined to rule in favor of the lottery company, noted that according to lottery rules, ticket purchasers must enter the four-digit number themselves.

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If individual who won NIS 3.3 million in May doesn't come forward by Monday, winnings will return to draw company

New Lotto

While the State of Israel may be known for being in the newspapers almost every day over one issue or another, it also known in lottery circles for being home to one of the best lottery games in the world. The Mifal Hapayis Corporation, which runs the lottery on behalf of the state, has been offering some kind of lotto game since 1951 when it was founded.

While some of the other games offered by Mifal Hapayis have become quite popular, including the Hishgad, 123, Chance, Shitati 777 and Keno games, the most popular by far is the Israel New Lotto game.

Game Type

The Israel New Lotto game features some of the best odds of winning the jackpot anywhere in the world. That’s because you only have to pick from 37 numbers along with a secondary number (ala the Power Ball in the United States) which is a number from one to eight. These low numbers mean that the odds of winning are quite good for those who participate in the game.

The lottery is held every Tuesday and Saturday, though it is occasionally pushed off if the dates interfere with a Jewish holiday (although the game is still offered twice per week – it just may be on Monday for example, instead of Tuesday). The base jackpot is NIS 5 million or about $1.4 million as of May, 2011, though this number does roll over each time the jackpot isn’t won.

Second Prize Rolls Over Too

Interestingly, the second prize, which is usually NIS 500,000 also rolls over if it’s not won and payouts on the second prize have gone as high as NIS 4 million. The lottery also offers a unique feature called “Double Lotto” which allows you to purchase a double prize for an additional fee. This means that the largest jackpot ever offered in Israeli history was NIS 80,000,000 in 2009, though the winner of that jackpot had chosen to go with the standard lotto option, so the total payout was only NIS 40,000.

How to Play

While the Israel New Lotto game was initially offered only to Israeli citizens, it is now available to anyone with an Internet connection who cares to place a wager on the game. You simply have to be over 18 years of age and have a dream of what you’d do with all that money when you win it. Be sure to pick the Double Lotto option if it’s available though as this will instantly double the winnings you get when you hit the jackpot in the Israel New Lotto game.

New Lotto While the State of Israel may be known for being in the newspapers almost every day over one issue or another, it also known in lottery circles for being home to one of the best lottery