German Lottery Winner Unknowingly Carried $39M in Purse for Weeks

Posted on: July 29, 2021, 03:15h. 

Last updated on: July 29, 2021, 03:23h.

A lottery winner in Germany who was unaware of her lucky fortune carried around the ticket that will make her a multimillionaire many times over for several weeks.

lottery winner Germany lotto
German lottery tickets can be purchased all across the country, including at convenience stores like this one in Munich. A female lottery winner finally came across her winning $39 million ticket more than a month after the draw. (Image: Foursquare)

Lotto Bayern, Germany’s state-run lottery, confirmed yesterday that a 45-year-old mother residing in Lower Franconia is the sole winner of the June 9 LOTTO 6aus49 draw. The woman, who chose to remain anonymous, purchased a ticket and guessed all seven numbers correctly. 

The woman picked all six correct white numbers, plus the yellow super ball. The odds of doing so, Lotto Bayern say, are one in 139,838,160. The June 9 jackpot was worth 33 million euros (US$39 million).

After more than a month and a half passed, lottery officials worried that the lottery winner might not be aware of their newfound wealth. But that changed yesterday after the woman came forward. 

The unidentified person said she unwittingly had the LOTTO ticket in her purse the entire time. After finding it and checking the numbers, she realized her fortune.

I still get dizzy at the thought that I carelessly carried almost 33 million euros around in my purse for several weeks,” she said, as relayed through a statement from Lotto Bayern. 

As for her future, she says she won’t be playing the lottery anytime soon. The woman explained that $39 million is “more than enough for my husband, my daughter, and me.”

Fortunate Outcome

Not everyone is as lucky as the German woman who discovered long after the draw that she was a major lottery winner. 

In May, a California woman told state lottery officials that she had mistakenly washed down a winning ticket valued at $26 million. The California Lottery confirmed that one person possessed a winning SuperLotto Plus ticket from the November 14, 2020, drawing.

The winning numbers were 12, 13, 23, 31, 36, and Mega Number 10. California Lottery regulations allow winners to redeem their prizes within 180 days. 

The woman said she failed to take a photo of the ticket, which would have served as evidence that she was the rightful winner. Instead, the unclaimed prize went back into the California Lottery SuperLotto prize pool. 

Lottery Losses

While most unclaimed lottery wins aren’t nearly as rich as the two mentioned, their values add up. 

Brett Jacobson, who created a lottery app that notifies players if they won, filed successful public records requests with state lotteries in 2014 seeking information on just how many winning lottery tickets go unclaimed each year. The results were shocking. 

In 2013, Jacobson said approximately $2.04 billion went unclaimed. That figure has likely only risen since, as state lotteries have reported increased revenue over the past several years. 

In 2013, Americans spent almost $68.9 billion on lottery tickets. That number has ballooned to more than $91.3 billion in 2019. And even during the pandemic, lottery sales in 2020 totaled nearly $90 billion.