"Lottery players should check their tickets carefully," said Gary Gonder, communications director for the Missouri Lottery. "If you find you have the winning ticket, be sure to sign the back of it and put it in a safe place until you can get to a Missouri Lottery office."
Missouri Lotto players have exactly 180 days from the drawing date to claim jackpot prizes, which means this winner would have until Sept. 11, 2003. The winner has 60 days from the drawing to choose if he or she would like to take the jackpot in one lump sum, which in this case would be approximately $3.2 million before taxes, or in 25 annual payments of approximately $260,000 a year before taxes. If no choice is made in 60 days, the jackpot is automatically paid out in 25 annual payments.
In addition to the player’s prize, QuikTrip will receive an amount equal to 1 percent of the jackpot - in this case approximately $65,000 - for selling the winning ticket.
To date, 135 Lotto tickets worth $1 million or more have been sold since the game began 16 years ago.