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updated: 3/24/2011 12:21 PM

Man claims $9 mil lottery prize in the nick of time

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By Bernie Tafoya | WBBM Newsradio 780

A Southeast Side man came oh-so-close recently to losing millions of dollars that he didn't know he had.

According to Illinois Lottery spokesman Tracy Owens, Irving Przyborski had bought a winning Lotto ticket which was due to expire today. He just found the ticket last week in a tax folder and claimed it just-in-time.

Owens says Przyborski had bought a number of lottery tickets a year ago and checked the numbers on most of them and they were not winners. Apparently, one ticket fell into a tax file he had been working with, and it wasn't until he decided to do his tax returns last week that he found the ticket.

He took it to his local store, checked the numbers and learned he was a millionaire.

Owens describes Przyborski as being a "quiet, laid back" man who seemed unfazed by his winnings.

He claimed a lump sum prize of more than five million dollars, according to Owens.

If Przyborski had not claimed his winnings by today, the money would have gone into the state's Common School Fund. Owens says about two-million dollars in unclaimed winnings a month go into the School Fund. Most are from much lower jackpots than Przyborski claimed.

Until today, the Illinois Lottery had had the $9-million jackpot still listed on its "unclaimed prizes" web site page. Owens says that was an oversight which is being corrected.