A $26 million California lottery jackpot goes unclaimed. Winning ticket may have been washed with laundry

It looks like a $26 million dollar lottery jackpot will go unclaimed in California because no one came forward with the winning ticket. Mandatory Credit: KCAL/KCBS By David Williams, CNN

(CNN) -- It looks like a $26 million dollar lottery jackpot will go unclaimed in California because no one came forward with the winning ticket.

The winner of the SuperLotto Plus drawing on November 14, 2020, had 180 days to claim their prize and that deadline passed on Thursday, according to lottery officials.

Whoever bought the ticket is out of luck, unless they sent it to the California Lottery, and it's postmarked before midnight on May 13, 2021.

The winning ticket was sold at an ARCO AM/PM convenience store in Norwalk in Los Angeles County.

Workers there told CNN affiliate KCBS/KCAL that a woman who bought the ticket recently came in and said the ticket was destroyed when she washed it with her laundry.

The store told KCBS/KCAL that it had security footage showing the woman buying the ticket. CNN was not able to reach the station for comment.

California Lottery spokeswoman Cathy Johnston told CNN the woman had not contacted the lottery's office and that she didn't know if the woman had reported the loss to a district office or filed an official claim.

"If she did, we will investigate as we always do. If she did not, there is nothing to investigate and no more we can do," Johnston wrote in an email.

Johnston said the store's security footage would not be enough to confirm that the woman bought the winning ticket.

She said players should always sign their tickets and photograph, or copy, the front and back of the ticket to prove that they had possession of it at one point.

There is one winner in all this. The California Lottery says the jackpot's $19.7 million cash value will be transferred to the state's public schools.

The convenience store also received a $130,000 bonus for selling the winning ticket.

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