A one-year Mega Millions winner ticket valued at $ 1 million will expire on March 17th. So many prizes are not claimed

mphillips007 | iStock unpublished | Getty Images

It seems unthinkable: someone buys a lottery ticket that is worth a lot of money in the end, and yet they never claim the stroke of luck.

There is currently a $ 1 million Mega Millions prize, the winner of which must be announced by March 17th. Otherwise, the winning ticket purchased in Rhode Island a year ago will be forfeited. The amount is a secondary award for matching five of the six numbers drawn on St. Patrick’s Day 2020.

“Even if you don’t win the jackpot, many games have numerous other prize tiers,” said Gordon Medenica, executive director and director of Maryland Lottery and Gaming at Mega Millions. “While most unclaimed prizes are typically awarded for much smaller amounts, we still recommend that our players always check their tickets.”

While $ 1 million is no reason to sneeze, the unclaimed prize pales in comparison to some Mega Millions and Powerball jackpots that were unclaimed by the winners.

They range from a $ 16.5 million ticket sold in Florida in 2013 (which is one-third of a three-way jackpot of $ 50 million) to a price of $ 77.1 million in the 2011, with the winning ticket bought in Georgia. And beyond these grand prizes, there are lesser amounts that cannot be claimed either due to losing a ticket, forgetting to check the winning numbers, or other mishaps.

In addition to the multi-state games, there are country-specific lotteries with prizes that are never claimed. In North Carolina, for example, fiscal years 2019 and 2020 totaled more than $ 59 million in prizes unclaimed, according to the state lottery’s latest annual report. In California, no one submitted a winning ticket for a single $ 63 million lottery prize in 2016, published reports show.

Each state participating in Powerball and Mega Millions has its own rules for how long winners can claim their prizes. Some allow three or six months while others, like Rhode Island, allow a full year from the date of subscription.

Now what happens to these unclaimed winnings? Generally, the money goes back to the states that sell the tickets.

And from there it depends on state rules for unclaimed lottery prizes. In some countries, funds must be returned to players in the form of bonus prizes or second chance competitions. Elsewhere, the unclaimed amount can also be used for specific purposes such as funding for education.

More from Personal Finance:
College is now costing too much for many students
A ten year guide to retirement planning
What you should know about filing an amended tax return

Meanwhile, a group of four – whose members chose to remain anonymous – recently won the $ 1.05 billion mega-million jackpot won in Michigan in the January 22nd draw. The amount marks the third largest jackpot in the history of the lottery. The group chose to look at the stroke of luck as a one-time lump sum payment of approximately $ 776 million.

The other major jackpot hit in January – $ 731.3 million in Powerball and the sixth largest in the lottery history – will not be claimed.

In Maryland, where the ticket was purchased, winners typically get 182 days (six months) to receive a Powerball prize. However, if the Maryland Covid-related State of Emergency is still in effect at the end of this period, the winner will be able to claim their prize up to 30 days after the emergency ends.

And like in Michigan, the winner (or winners) can remain anonymous.

The Mega Millions jackpot is $ 93 million for the Tuesday night draw, and the Powerball grand prize is $ 184 million. The next drawing will take place on Wednesday evening.

The chance of winning Powerball is 1 in 302 million. For Powerball, it’s 1 in 292 million.

Comments are closed.