By MARCONI CALINDAS
“Play it—you never know!” became more than just a catch phrase for a lucky man or woman who suddenly found himself or herself $100,000 richer Friday after winning the first prize of the Marianas Lottery.
The winning number combination of 1-9-15-18-30 assured for the lucky patron and his family a bountiful Christmas feast a few days before the Yuletide celebrations.
The Marianas Lottery office said the winning ticket was purchased at the Shell Gualo Rai gas station last week. Records also show that the unidentified lucky winner had his or her own numbers picked manually.
The office also received an unconfirmed claim from a local resident last weekend, who vowed ownership of the winning number combination. The office said they would verify the veracity of the claim and once the winner is officially confirmed, a lump sum amount of the jackpot prize less, the withholding tax, will be awarded accordingly.
The winner will have 60 calendar days to claim the prize. The winner must present the winning lottery ticket. All unclaimed winnings will be forfeited and be forwarded to the CNMI government. So far, the government has already received almost $30,000 in unclaimed prizes from Marianas Lottery.
Marianas Lottery also happily reported that aside from the $100,000 grand-prize winner—the biggest payoff in CNMI lottery history—a lucky patron also managed to win the second prize (four of five numbers plus the Bonus Ball) of $10,000.
Marianas Lottery encourages customers to carefully check their lottery tickets and contact their office for assistance and verification of their tickets.
To date, a total of $500,000 has been awarded to lottery winners by Marianas Lottery.
Lottery draws continue every Monday, Wednesday and Friday with its prize to start again from $50,000. Tickets are sold for $1 each at the Marianas Lottery office in the Joeten Shopping Center and at authorized vendors throughout the island.
Monday, Wednesday and Friday sales will close at 6:30pm with the live simulcast lottery draw at 7:30pm over Power 99 FM. Second and 3rd prize payouts are still with Bonus Ball at $5,000.00.