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Anyone lose a $6.3-million winning lottery ticket in Spain?

September 17, 2013|By Carol J. Williams
  • A vendor sells lottery tickets in the Catalonian town of Manresa. Authorities in the Galician town of La Coruna are searching for the owner of a $6.3-million winning ticket who can identify where and when the lucky numbers were purchased.
A vendor sells lottery tickets in the Catalonian town of Manresa. Authorities… (David Ramos / Bloomberg )

Sunglasses, cellphones, keys, the occasional wallet. Lots of stuff gets left behind on the counters of convenience stores and kiosks the world over by absent-minded customers.

But a winning lottery ticket worth 4.7 million euros, or about $6.3 million, has also made its way into the lost and found box of a lottery vendor in La Coruna, Spain, where authorities are now searching for its rightful owner.

The ticket with the lucky numbers -- 10, 17, 24, 37, 40 and 43 -- was purchased at one of the Galician city's dozens of authorized lottery ticket sellers on June 30, 2012, the English-language online news site The Local reported. A few days later, after the winning numbers were drawn, the ticket was found at a different vendor's counter by a customer and turned in to city authorities.

A local newspaper, La Voz de Galicia, (link in Spanish) identified the honest finder as Manuel Reija Gonzalez, who will be entitled to claim the prize money in another year if the original buyer fails to come forward.

Reija told the newspaper he never considered keeping the ticket and claiming the prize. "I wouldn't be able to sleep," he said.

To guard against false claims, city officials have put out the word that the ticket buyer must identify where and when the winning numbers were purchased, as well as the outlet where the ticket was later found. Several people have already come forward, La Voz reported, but have failed to provide the identifying details.

La Coruna Mayor Carlos Negreira made light of the improbable quandary in which he found himself when Reija turned over the ticket.

“I'll be the first Spanish mayor who's searching for a millionaire," Negreira said, according to the Associated Press, "not to ask for money but to give it.” 

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Twitter: @cjwilliamslat

carol.williams@latimes.com

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