ABC News

A little more than five months ago, a Los Angeles woman bought a lottery ticket at Michael’s Market & Liquor. She then left it in her car and forgot about it, obviously not that enthused with her 18 million-to-one odds of hitting the jackpot.

Unbeknownst to her, she hit that jackpot to the turn of $23 million. As the months went by, nobody claimed the prize, which gets voided if it goes unclaimed for 180 days. Finally, last week, a newspaper published a surveillance photo of the mystery winner from the liquor store’s security camera.

Luckily for the forgetful lotto player, her daughter noticed the photo and texted her mother. Mom then went out to the car, and there was the ticket, right where she had left it.

The liquor store had released the photo, and for good reason: because the ticket was turned in, they will get a .5 percent bonus—or $115,000.

Over $20 million dollars in lotto winnings went unclaimed in California between 2011 and 2012. If not for the daughter of the unnamed winner, it may have been more than twice that. We think a rather substantial Christmas gift is in order.

[ABC News]