California lottery officials put out an All Points Bulletin for a $52 million Lotto winner who has not claimed his prize.
The all-points bulletin searching for the $52 million Mega Millions lotto winner worked.
Lottery officials said Friday that after the agency's media blast on Thursday trying to find the mysterious ticket holder, a true winner has come forward.
Marita and Bladimir Agnite of Fremont, Calif., said they didn't know they hit the jackpot until a relative called Bladimir to tell him that his picture was on the news, according to lottery officials.
Bladmir had recently been laid off at his printing company, and Marita works as a nursing assistant.
Bladimir heeded the advice from his in-laws to go on the lottery's website to see the photo image for himself. Once he saw himself on the screen, he immediately got his wife out of bed to share the news, lottery officials said.
"He said, 'we're wanted,'" said Marita, who added that she was also floored when she saw the picture, too. "My stomach started... I started crying. He hugged me and we just cried and cried."
The announcement caps a search for a man captured on surveillance video and a photo (embedded, below) whom lottery officials said likely bought the ticket at the Kwik & Convenient Liquor Mart at 3157 Walnut Ave. in Fremont, Calif.
AJ Kumar, a cashier at the store, said he's waited on the mystery winner many times and he sold the ticket as a Quick Pick on July 25.
On Thursday, the lottery put out the photo and a plea asking the mystery man to bring his winning ticket to a lottery office.
The lottery was on July 27. The winning numbers are 2, 3, 4, 8, 43, with the Mega number 26. The estimated cash value is $40.5 million.
This is one of the first times the lottery has released a photo of a lottery winner. The practice is part of "on-going public effort to connect lottery customers with their winnings."
During the past two years, more than $20.5 million in prizes went unclaimed.
Marita plans to continue working, and the couple hopes to buy a house and send their children to college.