Chicago Man Nearly Let $9M Lotto Winnings Expire

Updated 03/24/11 – 10:18 a.m.

CHICAGO (WBBM/CBS) — A Southeast Side man recently came close to losing $9 million that he didn’t know he had.

As WBBM Newsradio 780’s Bernie Tafoya reports, Irving Przyborski had bought a winning Lotto ticket which was due to expire at the end of the day on Thursday, but he found the ticket last week in a tax folder and claimed it just in time.

LISTEN: Newsradio 780’s Bernie Tafoya reports

Przyborski had bought a number of lottery tickets a year ago and checked the numbers on most of them and they were not winners, according to Illinois Lottery spokesman Tracy Owens. Apparently, one ticket fell into a tax file he had been working with, and it wasn’t until he decided to do his tax returns last week that he found the ticket.

He took it to his local store, checked the numbers and learned he was a millionaire.

Owens describes Przyborski as being a “quiet, laid back” man who seemed unfazed by his winnings. He claimed a lump sum prize.

If Przyborski had not claimed his winnings by Thursday night, the money would have gone into the state’s Common School Fund. Owens said that about $2 million in unclaimed winnings a month go into the School Fund. Most are from much lower jackpots than Przyborski claimed.

Until Thursday, the Illinois Lottery had the $9 million jackpot still listed on its “unclaimed prizes” website page. Owens said that was an oversight which is being corrected.

  • Japan a no welfare country

    How about giving the unclaimed 9 mill to to all the wellfare people so they could get off welfare,in Illinois

    • ISHIE

      Ha how about you stop smoking crack!

    • PTC

      haha, thats funny( as in that’s a joke )…or get a job

      • Ihave3jobs

        I get help from the State of IL and I have 3 part-time jobs and my ex gets away with not paying child support by getting paid under the table. I could use that money to get a lawyer. BTW, I have a college degree.

      • Drew

        Many people would gladly work, PTC, if suitable employment was to be found. Where have you been living, beneath concrete rubble at a demolition site? We’ve got this little gig going on nationwide. It’s called MASSIVE UNEMPLOYMENT. Just because you’re fortunate enough to have a job doesn’t give you the right to kick those who don’t–for whatever the reason.

      • Jim

        Politicians are taking YOUR money and thus YOUR jobs. How can a politician make a $300k/year pension when the state can hire 8 people to actually do value added work? Because they tell you, their employer, how much you will pay them, the employee. I do want reform to clean up the union corruption, but politician pay/benefits are the major issue here.

      • Todd Hudson

        Sorry, if you gace people without a job money, they would not be better off 6 months later. I could go to any major city and have 2 or 3 jobs within a short period of time. Perhap snot what I wnt to do, but at least it would be legal and pay the bills. If needed, get a 2nd full time job and then a part itme job fo rthe weekend. I travel so much and simply dont see the mass unemployment, even in Detroit.

        The issue is you have been brainwashed by the unions to think that entry level is $20/hr. Its not.

      • mysteryDC


        Report him to the IRS for not declairing income. He will pay back taxes, owe you child support, and spend some time in prison if what you are saying is accurate.

    • bd

      because I bet they(not all of course) would not spend the money on necessities.
      they get money every month from welfare and yet the cycle continues.

    • jag

      how about the people on welfare in Illinois GET A JOB instead?

    • arstart

      That wouldn’t get them off welfare. It would only let them buy all kinds of stuff and still be in poverty tomorrow. Now if the money were donated to a fund to get welfare people educated so they could get a job, that would be different. No doubt the funds would mostly go unused because a great number of people on welfare would rather sponge off of taxpayers than be productive citizens.

    • dawench

      Oh yeah, great idea. Unfortunately that only works in fantasy land you goofball! Do all of us a favor and chop your hands off so you cant type.

    • Liz o

      Because they would probably all buy some shiny new kicks and crack; lots of crack.

    • Ignoramous

      Or he could do the exact equivalent and flush the money down the toilet. People who end up on welfare are almost always people who do not know the value of money, for they do not earn what they are given. They have not been prudent enough with their financial responsibilities, so the government attempts to take that responsibility upon itself. Personal responsibility cannot be delegated!

    • BillybobT

      So they’d still be on welfare, wouldn’t they? To get off welfare, get a job!

  • Nick

    Great story. Might have been a little better if you actually gave the numbers or at least identified the game. At least you gave the purchase location.

  • nancy J

    Anybody know what store or gas station it was sold at?

    • Jean

      Did you read the article?
      The Illinois Lottery says the ticket was sold at a 7-11 store at 107th Street and Ewing Avenue on the city’s Far Southeast Side.

  • Kat

    Give the money to people on Welfare, LMAO, how about give it to the people that actually work to support the worthless people on Welfare or my idea would be to give it to REDCROSS

  • nancy J

    Never mind…..I just saw where it was sold. Sorry!

  • franklin808

    That money should go back to the state since Illinois is so deep in debt. Why not tax lottery winnings by 95%. That would help everyone and the winner would get the satisfaction of doing something good for society.

    • franklin808isdumb

      You are dumb. The winnings are the 5%.

    • David

      I guess this would be abad time to brach the topic of stoping foreign aid?

    • JM in San Diego CA

      That is a terrible idea. Lottery sales would stop.

      See, the lottery is already “Gambling for People Who Stink at Math.” Bets are paid at no better than 40%, depending on local rules. Casinos pay about 90%. If the tax went to 95%, the payout would be equivalent to 2%. Nobody’s math stinks that bad.

      Please keep your ideas to yourself … either that or memorize therm and throw away your head.

  • Drew

    Yeah, right; good luck with that ‘brilliant’ suggestion. Lottery winners shouldn’t be required to give a dime more than necessary to this corrupt state and it’s equally corrupt politicians. The winner can get satisfaction by helping those he wants, NOT per state dictates.

  • heatherfeather

    Now he’ll have to re-do those taxes since this likely bumped him into a higher bracket!

    • Illinois blows

      He “earned” the moeny this year so he doesn’t have to re-do last years tax forms. Come on. Another genius wants to give it to the state for Welfare rats. How many know people that sucked on Uncle Sam (remember that’d be us working folks) for 99 weeks and then got 2 or 3 job offers when they actually looked? Another rocket scientist demands “suitable employment.” Really? Get your A$$ off the couch and do something. Is Rahm your Mayor yet? That’ll really fix things won’t it.

  • Robert P.

    Why does everybody complain about the corruption in Ilinois? I don’t get it. I’ve lived here my whole life. I mean, isn’t it the same (or worse) everywhere? So the mayor hires his friends and family, isn’t that the norm, etc? Lawyers abd politicians steal money yes and get caught, right?

    • Karen

      No, Robert, it is not the “same everywhere” we all look at Chicago and can’t believe how it continues…. BTW, the money is probably more useful in Mr P’s hands, he might be able to hire a few folks out right to do some work for him and his family and not have to grease thirteen palms inbetween for a city-let contract.

  • tgif

    “Why not tax lottery winnings by 95%” LOL..would love to see financials on folks who make suggestions like this.

  • Dennis D.

    to all you deadbeats complaining about no work in IL, move to a state that has plenty of them.

    • Drew

      And where would this be, Dennis? Every state in the union lacks ‘plenty of jobs’.

      • tureley

        Come to Texas! Plenty of jobs here. New roads, businesses, and houses everywhere I look. With conservative / capitalistic policies in place, anything is possible!

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  • niko

    I know thats its not about a lack of jobs, its a lack of the kind of jobs people are willing to work.

    We no longer live in a world were going to school and getting a good job with a huge business so that the company will help you retire actually works.

    People need to take their future into their own hands. Work hard, plan well, be disciplined in your finances, anybody can..the truth is just that most wont.

    Believe it or not, there are many MLMs out that will work for you if you work hard with integrity and plan well. Notice I am not advocating a specific one, this isn’t about me and my business, this is about people who whine on comment threads and don’t take the initiative to set themselves apart.

    • Drew

      Niko, you’re living in a world long since lost. Gone are the days when hard working Americans could expect to retain employment for their entire lives, with a good pension to look forward to upon retirement.

      Think back to Enron. You remember Enron, don’t you? Think of all of the hard working employees who lost every freakin’ dime of their 401k plans…money these men and women set aside for that fabled rainy day…those ‘golden years’. Good ole corporate greed and outright theft wiped out those carefully made plans in an instant.

      The ‘whiners’ you speak of cannot all be lumped into the same boat and labeled and stamped as deadbeats. Advocating that everyone suddenly receive the light and go back to school to get those skills that may (keyword: MAY) lead to many-many-many lucrative jobs is a fallacy. This is not feasible for every human being. Unless we’re in their homes, invisible, to take notes on what’s doable versus what isn’t, we lack the ability to truly designate appropriate courses of action. Further, none of us has the luxury of judging others, which you clearly have done. Judgement is best left for those without blemish of any kind. That effectively precludes anyone on planet Earth.

      • Ignoramous

        Keep in mind that people can also start their own businesses. You don’t always have to try to find a job working under someone else. People in our society have become too dependent upon others at every spectrum of class, except perhaps the uber-wealthy. Entrepreneurship is a dying art in Amerca; it can and has beaten out higher education time and time again. America is still the land of opportunity, for those astute and scrupulous enough to find it.

      • Drew you Ignoramous

        Drew you idiot. Then don’t do anything and see what happens. Niko clearly says “We no longer live in a World…” You are whacked. How’s that union job? I hope it’s gone. Now you can re-learn work (not the 5 guys looking in the same hole or 2 guys in back sleeping or teachers working 6 hrs a day for 180 days a year).

        What kind of dumb investments did you make that your whole 401(k) was wiped out in an instant? Did you bet on the Lions to win the Super Bowl?

        Quit spending more than you make, save, buy a house that has a payment you can afford that allows you to SAVE. Your not entitled to everything you see. Are you jealous of those that have more? Good for them.

  • ManOnPoint

    I got laid off from a $35.00 an hour job here in FL. I have been UNABLE to find work for more than minimum wage until recently. When you have graduate degrees like MA’s, PhD’s, etc., NO ONE wants to talk to you!!! When you walk in there in a nice suit and have more than twenty years of professional experience it is even worse. To everyone who makes NEGATIVE COMMENTS: Get Real!!! Be glad you have a job, and if you don’t, keep your head up and be positive. It will get better, 2012 is around the corner

  • Yassir Sanchez

    NO NO NO

    There are NO jobs in Texas. None, not one. Housing is terrible, overpriced, and unavailable.

    You would hate Texas, trust me.

  • Mannie

    Drinks are on him.

  • ImaTelau

    Do you libs in Ill actually listen to what your saying? Can you NOT see the relationship between liberal government domination and the poverty you live in?
    Are you blinded by the skin color of your government rep? Are you crippled with the thought that a citizen has “money”? Make your city a city/state of OPPORTUNITY, by electing sound, ethical (look it up), pro-American, conservative politicians. Ones that want you to succed on your own merits, not a lib who feels your nothing without them, giving you a “check” once a month.

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  • Gary

    You could move to North Dakota, Montana or South Dakota and work in the oil foelds or some of the support companies helping to drill the Bakken Shale and Williston Basin. North Dakota has less than 4% unemployment. Of course, Obama hasn’t figured out how to stop them from drilling there. He has done a bang up job of killing drilling on the gulf coast. And he has stopped fracking in Arkansas. Won’t let us drill in Alaska. Doesn’t want to use natural gas for our power plants. He wants us all to live off of solar and wind. But go ahead and stay in Illinois, i am sure the chosen one will feed and house you. The rest of the states will keep sending your state money.

  • Chivi

    The only way to get people off welfare is to limit welfare as you limit unemployment benefits. If they can’t keep a part time job anywhere, there is no help. If they keep having children, there is a limit to how much funding they will be given. If they are on drugs, no welfare. I know of a whole lot of drug addicts (women mostly) that have 3 or more children on welfare. They do not take care of their children their mothers do but they get more money by saying that they keep the children. These women should not be on welfare.

    • Whitey Nutz

      Church…..Said wonderfully Chivi

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