What’s worse than buying a losing lottery ticket? Buying a winning lottery ticket and forgetting to check your numbers. Illinois currently has eighteen unclaimed lottery prizes valued over $200,000 each. But you better find those tickets soon, as all states put an expiration date on winning tickets. An unlucky Connecticut resident found out that if you turn in your ticket 3 days late, you get nothing at all. He lost $5.8 million for this mistake.
According to the California lottery media outlet, $700 million in lottery winnings have gone unclaimed in the 26 years of the games existence. A single ticket purchased at the San Diego County Fair, worth $461,407, that has yet to be claimed. If no one comes forward, the funds become property of the state and can be used for things like education and infrastructure projects. The largest unclaimed ticket in California was worth $28.5 million in 2003.
There is a million dollar ticket somewhere in Michigan, and multiple tickets worth over $200,000. Have you checked your summer jacket recently? Or, maybe you washed it already?
The biggest unclaimed prize award goes to Indiana in 2002, when a Powerball ticket worth $51.7 million was purchased but deemed worthless once the expiration date passed in 2003. Maybe it’s time to check your glove box for old tickets.