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Why lottery prizes go unclaimed?

It is surprising to see that despite wins, many winning ticket holders never turn in to claim and collect their prize money. As per the lottery data, in the last 16 years there is a record of five jackpot winners who failed to claim their prizes. One of the prizes was worth $31 million for a ticket that had been purchased in the year 2006 in Queens, New York.

Another unclaimed jackpot was worth $77 million for a ticket that had been purchased in Georgia in the year 2011. Out of all these unclaimed jackpot lottery prizes, the oldest ticket was purchased in the year 2002 in New York with a worth of $68 million.

Although jackpot winners usually claim their win, most of the unclaimed prizes continue to be the small ones. Every year lottery prizes worth billions of dollars go unclaimed. The main reason on losing out on the lottery prizes is the fact that people are unaware about the existence of secondary prizes in the lottery game. Even if there is awareness about secondary prizes, people don’t bother to check their numbers once there is an announcement that there has been no jackpot winner. Some lose a winning ticket or some realize their win long after the time of the claim expires. Even some ticket holders who win instant scratch off games, at times forget to check and claim their prize money. The unclaimed lottery winners of secondary prizes lose from a meager $2 to a hefty $1 million worth winning amount.

According to the lottery expert Bret Jacobson, in 2017 itself, 167 prizes more than worth $1 million went unclaimed. There is a chance that some of these prizes might still be claimed but some of the States only give tenure of six months to claim the winning prize. Hence, a number of lottery winners go out of luck despite winning if they find out late about their win at a time when their prize expires.

Everyone dreams of winning a lottery, yet many winnings go unclaimed every year. People lose out on life changing amounts either by sheer ignorance of their win or by claiming the win long after the claim period expires. So next time you buy a lottery ticket, make 100% sure to keep it with you till the winning number gets disclosed so that you get a chance to timely claim your win if luck is in your favor.