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Big lottery winners may be out of luck as tickets set to expire

The clock is ticking.

Lottery officials in both California and New Jersey say two unclaimed winning tickets – each worth around $250,000 – will soon expire if their luck-struck owners don’t redeem them soon.

In New Jersey, state officials say one Mega Millions ticket, sold at a Wegmans super market in the central part of the state for the Oct. 5, 2012, drawing, will expire if the ticket holder doesn’t claim the prize by Oct. 5.

That ticket matched the five winning numbers, but not the Powerball. The winning sequence for that drawing was 8, 9, 16, 32 and 39 with a Mega Ball number of 15 and a Mega multiplier of 3.

In California, a winning Powerball ticket, purchased May 15 at a San Jose gas station, will reportedly expire Nov. 11, if not redeemed.

That ticket was traced to a Capitol Shell gas station at 1601 N. Capitol Ave, and matched five winning numbers, but missed the Powerball multi-state jackpot number, KTVU.com writes.

In the case of the California ticket, the still-unclaimed prize amount of $256,317 would go to the state’s public school system if the ticket holder does not turn in the winning ducat, officials told KTVU.com