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INDIANAPOLIS — A winning Powerball lottery ticket sold in Northwest Indiana expired Monday with no one claiming the $50,000 prize.

Hoosier Lottery officials confirmed to The Times that the winning ticket sold for the March 14 Powerball drawing at Speedway, 1901 N. Cline Ave., Griffith, was not turned in for payment at Indianapolis lottery headquarters prior to the 4 p.m. Region time deadline.

The ticket matched four of the five winning numbers and the Powerball to earn the $50,000 prize. The winning numbers were 6, 12, 24, 41, 68 and Powerball 9.

Now, instead of going home with the ticket holder, the prize money will remain in the lottery prize pool for future payments to other winners, according to Hoosier Lottery spokesman Dennis Rosebrough.

He said this is the third big lottery win to go unclaimed this year. Another $50,000 Powerball prize as well as a $1.5 million Hoosier Lotto jackpot both expired in April after no one turned in the winning tickets.

Lottery rules require all draw game prizes be claimed within 180 days of the drawing.

Rosebrough said the largest-ever unclaimed prize was a $4.5 million Hoosier Lotto jackpot sold in Indianapolis in August 2016 that expired in February 2017 with no one ever presenting the winning ticket for payment.

"Our people believe that these are literally misplaced or discarded tickets where people did not check their numbers carefully," Rosebrough said. "That's why we encourage people to double-check."

Records show state lottery profits totaled $306 million on an all-time high of $1.27 billion in ticket sales during the 2018 budget year that ended June 30.

Most of that money is deposited in the Build Indiana Fund that provides Hoosiers a significant excise tax credit on their annual vehicle registrations, while $60 million is earmarked for police, firefighter and teacher pensions.

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Statehouse Bureau Chief

Dan is Statehouse Bureau Chief for The Times. Since 2009, he's reported on Indiana government and politics — and how both impact the Region — from the state capital in Indianapolis. He originally is from Orland Park, Ill.