Woman Loses $26 Million Lottery Prize After Accidentally Washing Winning Ticket

by : Cameron Frew on : 15 May 2021 17:43

A Californian women lost out on $26 million after accidentally putting her winning lottery ticket in the washing machine. 

There are a number of reasons why I don’t buy lottery tickets: firstly, I’ve wasted quite a bit of money on tickets over the years; and secondly, every single time I buy one, without fail, I convince myself there’s a decent chance I could win. Of course, I then have to face the heartbreak of my numbers not coming in.


However, the prospect of actually winning the lottery but not being able to claim the prize because you chucked your trousers in the wash is enough to put me off for life. Unfortunately for this woman, she won’t see a penny of those millions.

A woman lost out on $26 million (PA Images)PA Images

The unnamed woman purchases a SuperLotto Plus ticket around six months ago. After realising her numbers came up, she recently came back into her local gas station in Norwalk to explain she’d bought the ticket but accidentally chucked it in the wash.

The manager explained to KTLA that he had surveillance footage of her buying the ticket, and later turned it over to the state’s lottery officials. However, video footage isn’t enough to claim a winning ticket.


When people buy a ticket, they’re encouraged to take photos of the front and back, or even photocopy it so they have a spare copy.

The unclaimed lottery money will go towards the public school system (PA Images)PA Images

After taxes, the woman would have left with a whopping $19.7 million. While she’ll likely feel bitter about missing out on such a big payday, her mistake does have some gain elsewhere.

As per the California Lottery, any unclaimed prize money is donated to the state’s public schools. So far, California’s education system has benefitted from more than $1 billion of lottery money.


As for the store which sold the winning ticket, it’s also entitled to a $130,000 bonus.

If you have a story you want to tell, send it to UNILAD via [email protected]

Most Read StoriesMost Read

Film and TV

Andy Serkis Addresses Venom Spider-Man Crossover After Incredible Let There Be Carnage Reaction

Cameron Frew

After graduating from Glasgow Caledonian University with an NCTJ and BJTC-accredited Multimedia Journalism degree, Cameron ventured into the world of print journalism at The National, while also working as a freelance film journalist on the side, becoming an accredited Rotten Tomatoes critic in the process. He's now left his Scottish homelands and taken up residence at UNILAD as a journalist.

Topics: Life, California, lottery, Now, US


  1. KTLA

    $26 million SuperLotto Plus ticket was destroyed in the laundry, Norwalk store manager says