Lottery picks
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  • A US woman claims she bought a winning lottery ticket but left it in her trousers when she did laundry, destroying it.
  • The deadline to collect the equivalent of R370 million winnings passed on Thursday.
  • If the prize is not awarded, some R280 million of it will be donated to California's public schools.
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A US woman claims she won a $26 million lottery – the equivalent of R370 million – but accidentally destroyed the winning ticket while doing the laundry.

According to the Whittier Daily News, Acro AM/PM employee Esperanza Hernandez said that one woman claimed to be the owner of the SuperLotto Plus ticket on Wednesday, but said she accidentally left it in her trousers when she did her laundry.

Cathy Johnston, the spokeswoman for the California Lottery Center, told the publication that at least six people turned in non-ticket claims to her office.

To win the jackpot, you must have "compelling substantial proof you were in possession of the ticket," Johnston said.

The manager of Acro AM/PM told KTLA-TV in California that the store has surveillance video of the woman who bought the ticket, but Johnston said that the store's footage is inadmissible and cannot be used as proof as the store's cameras are not owned by the lottery center and may not confirm when the video was recorded.

The deadline to collect the prize passed on Thursday.

If the massive prize is never claimed, nearly $20 million (around R280 million) of it - the cash option - will be invested into public schools in California. According to a release from the California Lottery Center, the school system has received more than $1 billion in unclaimed lottery prizes since its inception.

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