(FREMONT, Calif.) — The hunt for a mysterious lottery winner whose photo was released in an effort to find him this week is apparently over. The man has come forward to claim his prize in California.
California lottery officials said the man would be introduced at a press conference at 6 p.m. ET Friday. They earlier released a still shot of the man, dressed in a white T-shirt and sunglasses, buying the winning ticket at a Kwik Stop in Fremont, Calif.
The man is set to claim the $52 million prize from the July 27 drawing of the Mega Millions lottery, according to officials.
The mysterious winner had checked the winning ticket multiple times at Raley’s and Safeway stores in the Bay Area, in Northern California, but had not officially come forward to claim the prize, according to the lottery commission.
Mega Millions winners have one year from the time of the drawing to claim their prize.
“The California Lottery truly believes that when a person buys a lottery ticket with the hope and prayer of changing their lives, we should do all we can to connect them with their winnings. We believe this effort will make a lot of Californians very happy,” said Russ Lopez, deputy director of corporate communications for the lottery.
The California Lottery said it began sending out photos of all apparent winners of unclaimed prizes recently. In fiscal year 2011-2012, more than $20 million went unclaimed, it said.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Jackie Wattles, CNN
Paul R. La Monica, CNN
Parija Kavilanz, CNN