PHOENIX - A few local organizations have hit the jackpot, as some money from a $14 million unclaimed lottery ticket is now theirs.
One very lucky winner had until 5:00 p.m. on December 2 to claim the money for that winning lottery ticket, and, unfortunately, they didn't, but the money will not be going to waste.
"We were hoping that this was not claimed," said Savannah Hopp, a Casa outreach specialist. "We were all hoping that person hid it and didn't go claim it."
A winning $14 million "Pick" ticket was sold at a Circle K in Goodyear back in June. Since then, no came forward to claim it. Now the money will be dispersed between local organizations.
30 percent of the money, or about $4.2 million, is going to CASA Arizona, which stands for Court Appointed Special Advocates for children in the foster care system. The organization is funded solely on unclaimed funds from the Arizona Lottery.
"We get 30 percent of that so that can be a person goes to the grocery store, gets a $2 scratcher and they win 10 bucks, we'll see 30 percent of that or a much larger amount which was unclaimed yesterday," said Hopp.
The money will go towards recruiting, retaining and training volunteers. Right now there is only one CASA for every six children in the system.
"Statistics show that a child that has a CASA versus without a CASA on their case, they are more likely to succeed in school, they're more likely to find permanency faster, and they're half as likely to return to the foster care system," explained Hopp.
The rest of the money will go toward other state-run agencies and to fund prizes for new games.
You typically have six months to claim a prize on a winning ticket.