ARCADIA, Kan. — Three winning tickets for last weekend’s record $656 million Mega Millions drawing were sold, but no person has stepped forward to claim the prize. However, one dog has.
Princess, a golden retriever-poodle mix from Arcadia, Kansas, walked into her local lottery precinct with a verified winning ticket tucked in her collar. That would hypothetically award the dog $218 million before taxes.
“We were just shocked,” said Kristie Thornbug, the clerk who verified the ticket. “The dog’s collar gives a name but doesn’t give any contact information for the people who may own the dog. As far as we know, this is the dog’s winnings.”
The dog is currently being held at the facility until any owners show up to claim it. To protect against false claims, authorities will not hand her over until visual proof, as well as papers detailing Princess’s medical check-ups and shots records are provided.
Mega Millions officials are scratching their heads and hoping a legitimate owner steps forward. If no owners step forward, this would provide an unprecedented problem for the multi-jurisdictional lottery game. No dog has ever been awarded winnings on a nationwide lottery. However, towns in Texas, Mississippi and Georgia have given local-based lottery or instant game winnings to several animals in certain circumstances before laws were eventually enacted to prohibit the practice. One notable example is a domestic cat in Jacksonville winning $3 for successfully revealing a match on a scratchcard in 1983.