Gem of the Week: Time running out to claim lottery ticket worth half a million dollars.


MICHIGAN, ND (WDAZ)---We don't know much about this week's Gem of the Week, but there's one thing we do know---they are rich for life. 

A sleepy town off Highway 2 between Grand Forks and Devils Lake. The Nelson County community is rich in history and that history may get a lot richer.

"We can't believe nobody has claimed it,” said Store Owner, Kathy Gilbertson.

The largest unclaimed lottery ticket in state history.....worth at least half a million dollars.....

"That's unreal,” said Jim Strong, of Devils Lake.

It was sold at Hamster Oil back in August. The winner can cash in two ways. Choose 25-thousand dollars a year for the rest of their life or a lump sum of 390-thousand. However - who the person is remains a mystery.

“We've had several people stop in and say we think we bought it,” said Gilbertson.

Regular lottery players like Ted Slater.

“I'm pretty sure that's the one I threw away and didn't realize it until after,” said Ted Slater, of Petersburg.

He remembers tossing a bunch of tickets without double checking that they weren't winners.

“That was dumb I guess,” said Slater.

“Cleaned out their vehicles, looked all over and they can't find, or is it someone who just passes through, lives in another state,” said Gilbertson.

If the ticket still exists - time is running out to cash in. The person only has until Saturday. After that, the ticket is worthless and the money goes back to the lottery.

"We have put graphic slides on all of our monitors at all of our retail locations, we've done radio spots, trying to let everybody know to bring this ticket in because it is expiring soon,” said Ryan Koppy, of the North Dakota Lottery Commission.

"Wanted" signs hang all over the store....

“We've checked on our cameras, but our cameras didn't go back that far because we had just gotten them,” said Gilbertson.

If the ticket goes unclaimed - it would be the largest pile of cash ever left on the counter at the lottery department. The current record is a 25-thousand dollar Mega Millions ticket.  

“I hope that person shows up,” said Strong.

So now, it's a wait and see game for the next 48 hours at Hamster Oil - who already cashed in on the ticket - getting 25-hundred for selling it.

“We thought they knew they had won and were waiting for the excitement to go away,” said Gilbertson.

And as for Ted Slater - all he can do is keep playing the lottery - hoping to strike it rich and wondering if bad luck had him throw away his fortune.


“If it was the one it doesn't do me any good now, I just need to try and hit again,” said Slater.

Here's a look at the winning numbers:

4, 8, 15, 17 and 39. The Lucky Ball was 2.