Mega Millions winner waits 5 months to collect $40K lottery prize

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LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (News release) – A Jacksonville man won $40,000 on a Mega Millions® ticket nearly five months ago but didn’t claim his prize until today at the Arkansas Scholarship Lottery Claim Center. Edward Hamilton purchased the ticket at Kroger, 103 Gregory Place in Jacksonville for the Dec. 14 drawing.

The winning numbers were 5, 22, 26, 43, 49 and the Megaball® number was 23. Hamilton had four white ball numbers, plus the Megaball number – and only lacked having the fifth white ball number or would have won the $262 million jackpot.

However, because he paid an additional dollar for the Megaplier®, which was four for the night’s drawing, his prize was increased to $40,000.

For an online (terminal-generated) game like Mega Millions, players have 180 days from the draw date to claim a prize. The winner told lottery officials he discovered he won the Mega Millions prize back in December but decided that he wanted to wait until today to collect his winnings.

“I wanted to get something done first,” said Hamilton. “I’m a writer and wanted to finish my non-fiction book before I claimed my prize. I developed a passion for writing at a young age and have been writing professionally for over 10 years.”

Hamilton first told his son. He plans to invest and have fun with his winnings. Next month he will be celebrating his 10th year of sobriety.

The Mega Millions jackpot for Friday’s drawing is $339 million. The Powerball® jackpot

for tonight’s drawing stands at $250 million. Tonight’s Natural State Jackpot drawing has grown to $320,000. Winning lottery numbers are posted at

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