Someone walked into a Des Plaines convenience store last year and bought an Illinois Lottery ticket worth $162,500.
That person has until Feb. 21 to claim the cash or lose it forever, lottery officials said.
The winning Lucky Day Lotto ticket was sold at the 7-Eleven at 586 E. Oakton St. According to lottery officials, the winning numbers for that Feb. 21, 2013 drawing were: 11, 15, 20, 27 and 33.
The ticket can be redeemed at one of five prize centers in Chicago, Des Plaines, Rockford, Springfield and Fairview Heights.
Lottery rules give players a year from the date of the original drawing to collect their winnings. Unclaimed money is deposited in the state's Common School Fund, which goes to help fund public schools, said lottery spokesman Mike Lang.
The store that sold a winning lottery ticket gets its 1 percent commission, Lang said, meaning the Des Plaines store still received $1,625.
Lang estimates that $28 million in yearly lottery winnings go unclaimed in Illinois.
Most unclaimed prizes are in smaller denominations, he said. But in 2004, someone failed to come forward with a winning ticket worth $14 million, sold at a gas station in southwest suburban Frankfort.
Others have come forward just in the nick of time.
In 2011, a Chicago man discovered a winning lottery ticket worth $9 million in a folder containing his tax documents.
He claimed the prize just days before the deadline, according to Tribune articles.
Ticket holders can go to the Illinois Lottery website, where a current list of unclaimed tickets totals almost $5 million.