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Deadline To Enter 'Mystery Millionaire' Promotion Is Approaching Fast

Players Reminded To Enter Their Tickets By Noon Tuesday Cut-Off

DES MOINES, Iowa - Iowa Lottery players are being reminded to enter eligible tickets in the "Mystery Millionaire" promotion before the deadline passes at noon Tuesday.

Sales have been good for the summer promotion, with more than 223,000 eligible purchases made during the sales period that began July 1 and ended Saturday. Lottery records, however, show that thousands of those eligible tickets have yet to be entered in the promotion.

"As of this morning, more than 184,000 tickets have been entered into the promotion," Iowa Lottery CEO Terry Rich said Monday. "But that still leaves more than 38,000 out there. We certainly don't want our players to miss out on the opportunity for their chance to win up to $1 million."

Codes must be entered on the lottery's website at by noon Tuesday to be eligible. Players can use each ticket only once as an entry and do not have to keep their bonus Mystery Millionaire entry tickets once they have been entered.

The Mystery Millionaire promotion gives lottery players the chance to win prizes ranging from $10,000 up to $1 million - money that came from two big jackpots that expired without being claimed during the past year. The promotion will culminate in a live give-away show on Extreme Sunday, the final day of the 2012 Iowa State Fair.

One of the unclaimed prizes - a Hot Lotto® jackpot won with a ticket purchased in Des Moines - generated international headlines when lawyers representing a trust turned in the winning ticket with less than two hours to go before the big prize would have expired, but ultimately withdrew the claim in late January.

And just before that hub-bub started, an even bigger prize - that one a $77 million Powerball® jackpot won in Georgia - also expired without being claimed.

The money from those unclaimed jackpots goes back to the individual lotteries that sell the games in proportion to the percentage of sales that came from each state. Iowa's share was a total of about $2 million.

With the unclaimed jackpots occurring in Hot Lotto and Powerball, the Mystery Millionaire promotion also involves those games. Special $5 Mystery Millionaire packs were available for purchase from lottery terminals statewide from July 1 through noon Saturday. In each pack, players got an easy-pick Powerball ticket with Power Play, an easy-pick Hot Lotto Sizzler ticket, and along with those, a bonus Mystery Millionaire entry ticket with a code to enter on the lottery's website.

On Thursday, the lottery will select 49 winning tickets from among all those entered in the promotion. Thirty-four players immediately will win prizes of $10,000 each. The 15 others will advance to the Mystery Millionaire Giveaway on Aug. 19 at the Iowa State Fair. Each of those contestants will win at least $25,000 during a live finale event and could win the grand prize of $1 million.

The 15 semifinalists who will attend the live event at the Fair each will receive four State Fair admission tickets; two parking passes; hotel stay for two; admission for two to an exclusive dinner Aug. 18; and spending cash.

The first 1,000 audience members to check in Aug. 19 at the live show site on the Grand Concourse at the Fair will receive tickets to attend the giveaway. Fifteen audience members will win prizes from $250 to $1,000 during the 1 p.m. finale event.

The retailers whose locations sell the winning tickets to the 15 players at the live give-away also will win prizes ranging from $500 to $2,000.

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