$1 million Powerball ticket sold in Kansas last December finally claimed

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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) -- For a long time, the Powerball ticket went unchecked. Shuffled in with other papers, its owner had no idea the ticket was worth a cool million dollars.

“The ticket just got caught in the mix of my receipt drawer and I saw it sitting there and pulled it out and looked at it and it said '12-29-2018' so I thought ‘oh wow, I have to go scan this,’” the owner explained.

Normally, the lucky winner would buy several tickets a week and, every couple weeks or so, go check them all. This one, though, sat around a little longer. After scanning it, the Sedgwick Co. resident didn’t realize how much the ticket was worth, only that they had a bit of a road trip ahead of them.

“It said to sign the back of the ticket and claim it at the Lottery headquarters in Topeka. I was just in shock,” the winner explained.

A quick check of the Kansas Lottery website and a couple articles about an unclaimed million dollar ticket sold in south-central Kansas left the winner speechless.

“I originally thought maybe it was $5,000 or $10,000 or something like that, but once I pulled it up on the website and it said '$1 million unclaimed Powerball ticket in south central Kansas' I thought ‘that’s me,’” the winner said with a smile that’s practically become a permanent fixture.

“My cheeks are starting to hurt from smiling so much,” the winner exclaimed. “I’m just overwhelmed with joy!”

As far as the money, the winner says it’s going toward their growing family’s future.

“I’m just excited. I do have a baby on the way and we’re going to buy a house,” the winner said. “I’m not going to go out and travel the world, I’m old enough to know that my kids need to be taken care of first before anything else.”