A $40,000 Powerball with Power Play prize was claimed Monday, less than two weeks before its redemption deadline of March 20. A 41-year-old player from New Orleans was unaware he held a winning ticket from the Sept. 21 drawing until recently, when a friend told him about a large Powerball prize set to expire. The player checked his tickets and realized one was a winner.

“We’re so pleased we were able to pay this prize,” said Lottery President Rose Hudson. “The Lottery makes every effort to alert players about large prizes that are set to expire by posting information on our website and social media sites, discussing redemption deadlines on our online talk show, The Big Deal, and by distributing news releases,” she continued. “This is a great success story!”

Winners of the Lottery’s draw-style games must claim their prize within 180 days of the drawing. After prizes have passed their redemption deadlines, they are deposited into the Lottery’s unclaimed prize fund, which is returned to players in the form of increased payouts on scratch-off games and player promotions.

The winning ticket was purchased at Circle K #2707672 on Howard Avenue in New Orleans and matched four white-ball numbers and the red Powerball number to win $10,000. The player added the $1 Power Play option to his ticket, which increased the prize to $40,000.

“Players are encouraged to sign the back of their tickets immediately after purchase and to check their tickets following each drawing,” said Hudson. “Winning numbers are posted on the Lottery’s website, along with details about prizes won in Louisiana for each drawing.”

Ticket purchasers must be at least 21 years of age. The Lottery encourages responsible play and urges anyone or friends of anyone with a gambling problem to call toll free 1-877-770-7867 for help. A list of large unclaimed prizes set to expire in the next 180 days can be found on the Unclaimed Prizes page of the Lottery’s website.