LAFAYETTE -- Shirley Thibodeaux of Sunset heard from a friend that a $50,000 Louisiana Lottery Powerball prize from a ticket sold in her area was still unclaimed. That is when she realized she had not checked her own ticket.  

“I was shocked! This whole time the ticket had been in the kitchen until someone told me about the unclaimed prize,” she explained. 

Thibodeaux’s ticket matched four of the five white-ball numbers and the red Powerball number in the Nov. 5 drawing to win $50,000. She claimed her prize at the Lottery’s Lafayette regional office a mere three weeks before the May 4 expiration date.  

Thibodeaux’s husband is a regular Lottery player, and the couple normally buy their tickets at Go Bears #28 in Grand Coteau, including this $50,000-winning ticket. She said she plans to share the winnings with her immediate family. 

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 instant-win games and player promotions. The Lottery issues media news releases about 30 days before large prizes are about to expire. 

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 90 days can be found on the Lottery’s website at