A year ago, someone beat the 1-in-13 million odds and drew the winning numbers in the New Jersey Pick 6 Lotto.

So what are the chances of that person losing the winning ticket? Or throwing it out with the trash? Or simply forgetting he or she played the lottery that day?

Pretty good, apparently, since no one came forward to claim the $19 million prize by the end of business yesterday, the day the jackpot expired.

The ticket, purchased in Newark still could have been redeemed at a lottery retailer before midnight last night, but that seemed unlikely. Officials said they wouldn't know for sure until today.

If no one comes forward, the owner of the winning numbers will remain a mystery - and perhaps that's for the best. After all, would you want to know you literally threw away a fortune?

No prize of this size has gone unclaimed in New Jersey in recent memory, but in local lotto lore, Melvin Milligan is a name that often rings out.

Milligan, a computer technician from Clifton, discovered a $46 million winning ticket in a junk drawer two days before the expiration date in 2001.

After validating the ticket at a local deli, he inexplicably plopped the winner in an envelope and mailed it to lottery headquarters in Trenton.

There's always a chance of another Milligan this time around, but if not, the money goes back to worthy state projects, like education and homes for the disabled.

Contact staff writer Troy Graham at 856-779-3893 or tgraham@phillynews.com.