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Lottery Looking for Woman Who Left $73,237 Ticket in Piedmont Store

For Immediate Release: 4/24/2003

(Pierre) - The South Dakota Lottery is looking for the woman who left a Piedmont convenience store last Friday morning without knowing she had won more than $73,000.

On Friday, April 18, a woman presented her lottery tickets at the Elk Creek Valley Market to have the tickets checked for winners. Shortly after the woman left the store, the clerk discovered one of the woman's tickets on the counter that had not been checked. The ticket turned out to be the jackpot winner for the Wednesday, April 16, Dakota Cash drawing, and it’s worth $73,237.

State Lottery director Clint Harris said, "The store manager said she had seen the woman in the store before, but doesn’t know the woman’s name. We’re hoping she’ll hear that we’re looking for her and contact us."

The store’s staff described her as an older woman and estimated her age between 70 and 80 years old. She stopped at the store at approximately 9:30 a.m. (MT) last Friday. Lottery officials are asking that she call the state lottery office in Pierre at 605-773-5770.

After the ticket was discovered and determined to be the jackpot winner, store manager Lou Rose contacted state Lottery officials. The ticket is now in the Lottery’s possession. Harris praised Rose and clerk Roxann Peterson for their actions. "They just want the rightful owner to get the jackpot. They did the truly honest and honorable thing, and I really respect them for it."

The state Lottery investigated immediately and has compiled a number of unique facts about the ticket and the circumstances of the woman’s stop at the store. Harris said all of those facts would be known only to the Lottery and the rightful owner of the ticket. "These aren’t things that anyone can just guess at," he said.

Dakota Cash is a lotto game played only in South Dakota. There have been 79 jackpot winners, not counting last Wednesday’s winner, since the game was introduced in 1993.

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