What happens to unclaimed lottery prizes?
There are millions of dollars of unclaimed lottery prizes each year. Whether people lose their tickets or simply forget, the money remains unclaimed, making everyone wonder what happens with it.
With the odds of winning the lottery in the millions, people assume that the lucky few who win would be very conscious of what to do to claim their prizes, but this isn’t the case. The reason for unclaimed tickets could be anything. Some people lose their tickets, others go to claim their prize too late. Some winners claim sabotage by warring tribes, and others believe that their tickets must have been sucked into a blackhole. For the most part however, some people just genuinely forget to check their tickets on time.
After someone wins from any state lottery or multi-state lottery game, they have a deadline to claim their prize. Unclaimed lottery prizes pile up, reaching millions of unclaimed winnings each year. If the deadline passes and a prize remains unclaimed, what happens to it?
While it varies from state to state, most unclaimed lottery prizes end up one of two ways. Some states put the money back into the lottery prize pool to help fund and raise jackpot payouts. The other option is for the unclaimed money to go into the state beneficiaries to benefit the state. In states where the money goes back to the government, the actual payout varies depending on the state lottery’s beneficiaries and the needs of the state.
How to avoid missing your winnings
Deadlines for lottery prizes vary, with some lasting up to a year. For Powerball, winners have 90 days to claim the jackpot, or they forfeit their prize. Whenever you buy a lottery a ticket, make sure you see how long you have to claim the prize so you can avoid being too late to cash in.
If you have a winning ticket, contact your state lottery offices to find out where to cash in. Most lotteries allow phone calls during the day or emails. To actually receive your prize, however, you will need to make it to the nearest lottery office.
Remember to always sign the back of all your lottery tickets. If a ticket is given to lottery officials by someone other than the person who signed the ticket, the officials will wait until the person who signed it claims the prize. Always, always, always sign your ticket. This will ensure that if your lost ticket is found, you will still receive the winnings.
Make sure you never miss out on your winnings and download the LotteryHUB app to watch live drawings on your phone. This way you can check your numbers anytime and on the go.