CONCORD, NH – Officials from the New Hampshire Lottery say they will begin preparations for pulling the “NH Millionaire’s Club” scratch ticket from stores, even though only one of the game’s two instant million dollar winners has turned up. The game has been on sale for more than two years and nearly 93% of all tickets have been purchased, but a grand prize winner remains elusive.
“Somewhere out there is a scratch ticket worth one million dollars” said Rick Wisler, Executive Director of the Lottery. “There’s no more inventory in the warehouse. So either the winner is among the few tickets remaining in stores or it’s in someone’s possession – hopefully someplace safe.”
Wisler explained that while there were only two instant grand prize winners among the 2.1 million “NH Millionaire’s Club” tickets printed, more than 200,000 tickets qualified for a second chance drawing at another million dollars. The Lottery cannot schedule this final million dollar drawing until the game is closed out, which generally happens after the top prizes are claimed. After being on sale for more than two years, NH Lottery officials say the second of those million-dollar prizes should have turned up by now.
“We’re not giving up hope that the second million dollar instant ticket will be discovered,” said Wisler. “We’d like nothing more than to see someone in New Hampshire become an instant millionaire. But the game needs to be closed out sooner than later because we’re making the plans to give away a third million dollar jackpot.”
Since reports of the missing million dollar ticket came out, sales of the remaining tickets have increased.
“It’s like Willie Wonka’s Golden Ticket, except for adults,” said Maura McCann, Marketing Director for the Lottery. “There’s one ticket that’s going to change someone’s life still out there. Is it Nashua? Is it Conway? Is it in Keene or Hampton? Who’s the missing millionaire? Is today the day?”
The $10 game debuted in stores on March 16, 2007. The first of the two $1m instant tickets was won by George and Marlene Muncy of Amherst, NH on October 9, 2007. The ticket was purchased at D&S Quick Stop in Merrimack.
Unclaimed prizes for all NH Lottery instant games expire one year after the game is closed. If the prize goes unclaimed at the end of one year, it will be returned as net profit earmarked for education. Once “NH Millionaire’s Club” is officially closed out, one ticket submitted for the second chance drawing will be pulled at random for another million dollar prize. Players whose non-winning tickets displayed a star symbol are eligible for the drawing.