Lying well on dresser tops, stashed on typical desk drawers, or in heaps of accrued scrap papers and hoarded deep in drawers lie piles and piles of typical lottery tickets. Collectively the lottery tickets are worth quite some dollars — billions of dollars to be specific.
While it may come off as simple advice, the only way to win any lottery is through turning in a winning ticket and not safe keeping and forgetting about it. Surprisingly, you would be astonished by the number of players that generally seem to go against that.
Statistically, in the United States alone, close to $2 billion worth of lottery prizes and rewards go totally unclaimed annually. What’s more, a great chunk of those named tickets have a value of between a dollar and $5, but many individuals never quite realize the life-changing prizes they unknowingly carry around.
In the last one and a half decades, five holders of a Mega Million or Powerball Jackpot prizes have subsequently failed to cash in or claim the rewards.
What will come as a surprise is the amount of prize money that has gone unclaimed as outlined in the following examples: A $31 million prize reward from a ticket that was bought in 2006, August in Queens, New York.A $77 million prize reward from a lottery ticket bought in 2011, June in Georgia.
Unfortunately for the holders of the above-cited example, these rewards have now since expired and as such cannot be claimed. Nonetheless, it may not be time up yet for the recently unclaimed lottery reward of $393 million courtesy of a recently conducted Mega Millions draw that took place in 2017, Aug. 11 and which remains unclaimed to date.
For sure, unclaimed jackpots remain as the exception. Despite many preferring to do so through trusts or many other different methods to conceal their identity, many of the big lottery winners just about always claim and collect their respective winnings.
Since 2003, the nation has witnessed 384 individual winners for Mega Millions and Powerball jackpots. Of these winners, only 5 have not come out to claim their prizes which therefore leaves the instances of unclaimed cases at a mere 1.3 %.
Nonetheless, according to Brett Jacobson, an acclaimed lottery expert, every year sees billions in lottery money prizes go unclaimed in the US alone.
Billions in Secondary Prizes
Jacobson further reiterates that many ticket holders go about their business unaware of having won secondary prizes generally issued for lottery tickets containing several though not all the main jackpot numbers. These unclaimed prizes generally range between $1 to about $1 million plus for having a ticket with the right jackpot numbers.
One of the most recent Powerball was characterised by prizes amounting to $135 million owing to 9.4 million ticket holders who left their prizes as unclaimed.
Jacobson further indicates that the number of unclaimed prizes tends to get higher particularly with massive drawings such as the last one whose jackpot was worth $758.7 million. Why? For most people, not hitting the big prize results in them not checking to see if they have won any other available smaller rewards.
Based on information gathered from every state lottery organization, 2015 alone saw 114 prizes all worth about $1 million plus go unclaimed. In general, as Jacobson informed CNN Money back in 2016, instances such as lotteries rolling over for lacking a jackpot winner among others including individuals not realising jackpots have secondary prices are among the main factors that result in unclaimed lottery prizes.
The question is what’s worse: not collecting your winning lottery ticket, or spending your lottery jackpot within 3 years?
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