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Chicago Man Nearly Let $9M Lotto Winnings Expire

Updated 03/24/11 - 10:18 a.m.

CHICAGO (WBBM/CBS) -- A Southeast Side man recently came close to losing $9 million that he didn't know he had.

As WBBM Newsradio 780's Bernie Tafoya reports, Irving Przyborski had bought a winning Lotto ticket which was due to expire at the end of the day on Thursday, but he found the ticket last week in a tax folder and claimed it just in time.

LISTEN: Newsradio 780's Bernie Tafoya reports


Przyborski had bought a number of lottery tickets a year ago and checked the numbers on most of them and they were not winners, according to Illinois Lottery spokesman Tracy Owens. Apparently, one ticket fell into a tax file he had been working with, and it wasn't until he decided to do his tax returns last week that he found the ticket.

He took it to his local store, checked the numbers and learned he was a millionaire.

Owens describes Przyborski as being a "quiet, laid back" man who seemed unfazed by his winnings. He claimed a lump sum prize.

If Przyborski had not claimed his winnings by Thursday night, the money would have gone into the state's Common School Fund. Owens said that about $2 million in unclaimed winnings a month go into the School Fund. Most are from much lower jackpots than Przyborski claimed.

Until Thursday, the Illinois Lottery had the $9 million jackpot still listed on its "unclaimed prizes" website page. Owens said that was an oversight which is being corrected.

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