Are you an avid lotto player, but have never won the lottery? Well, there is a big chance you did win it, you just aren’t aware of it. Wouldn’t that be nice?
It sounds unbelievable, but it’s way more common than you think: there are millions and millions of unclaimed lottery money around the world each year. Yeah, you’ve read that right – each year.
All Of Those People Who Tragically Won The Lottery
Let’s just take a look at some recent stories from the US, and it will become clear very soon just how painfully big and often these “lost” winnings are. For instance, there was a story a month ago about $26 million jackpot that went unclaimed in California.
One unlucky winner had 180 days to claim its lottery win of 26 million dollars that has been won on November 14, 2020, but no one ever came forward. There was an alleged story though: workers at the place where the winning ticket was sold said one woman came in and said she had washed her winning ticket with the laundry, but she never even filled an official claim.
Then there’s a case of a one million Mega Millions ticket which expired this March after a year of waiting for its winner. Commenting on that story Gordon Medenica, Mega Millions lead director, also added that many people disregard side games many lotteries offer. He pointed out that people often only pay attention to the main prize, forgetting there is much more at play.
The Amounts are Crazy
But, let’s not stop here; let’s take a look at some numbers through the years (and ONLY for the two of the biggest US lotteries). For instance, there was $119 million that went unclaimed from Mega Millions and Powerball in 2002. $46 million unclaimed from Mega Millions in 2003, $77 million unclaimed from Powerball in 2011. Should we go on?
Don’t think that these scenarios are reserved just for Americans either. Australian lottery officials just released a call for all Aussies to check their lottery tickets. Apparently, there are currently 22 million in Australian dollars of unclaimed prizes dating back to 2015. And that’s just in first tier prizes.
Where Does the Money Go
As you can see, different lotteries have different sets of rules on how long you have until you can collect the prize, and while some will wait indefinitely for you, others will find their way into a redistribution of some sort. If your un-destined lottery win hasn’t been added to the next big jackpot, it is likely that it ended up in some charity, which isn’t that bad after all, you must admit. In the case of the Californian laundry lady, for instance, the money was donated to local public schools.
Now that you know how many people don’t know they’ve won the lottery, are you so sure you aren’t among them? Go check all of your secret ticket places, you might be surprised. If you don’t find anything though, don’t be discouraged, play some more today and create another chance for yourself. Just don’t forget to check your ticket afterwards!