A Frantic Search For This $1 Million Lost Lottery Ticket Is A Common Problem

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The Seidens were very relieved to find their lost ticket to claim the $1 million jackpot from the Illinois Lottery on Friday. Photo: Chuck Berman/Chicago Tribune

The number of news items where owners of a potentially vast lottery fortune have misplaced their tickets is becoming quite common.

Cathy and Dave Seiden lost their Mega Millions ticket after last Thursday's draw, and it was with a lot of relief that it was found in time to claim the prize.

A lottery ticket seems to be the only item with a lot of value that people misplace frequently. Here's our suggestions to keep and protect your investment:

Every ticket is a million dollar goldmine until you find out that it isn't. Treat them all with the care you'd take with a million dollar check.

Keep your tickets in one place, and always put them there after you return from the lotto store.

Put your tickets in a pouch or folder. I was standing behind a player recently who pulled out a very crumpled lottery ticket. It had to be put through the machine twice because it couldn't be read properly. Your tickets have to last a while, so make sure they are protected. I use a custom cover provided from the lottery store.

Write your name on every winning ticket. You can include the words 'ticket owner' if you wish, but generally you'll be able to prove your name with your ID, driver's license etc. Sign it too as a precaution.

Photocopy your winning tickets. Do this for both your Silver Lotto System tickets and your weekly tickets as well.

Get your ticket numbers checked by your lotto shop after each game. Don't rely on your own eyes. By having the store or reader machine check them means that you won't miss a number - which could be the difference between a world trip and a disaster!

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