The winning ticket was purchased from a retailer in KwaZulu-Natal for the SA Powerball draw on 5th April 2013 and matched all five main numbers (4, 9, 17, 22 and 23) and the Powerball number (6). Almost a year has passed since the draw and the winning ticket for the R33 million jackpot, worth approximately £1.8 million, will expire on Saturday 5th April 2014 if the ticket holder doesn’t come forward before then to claim their prize.
With the deadline just over a week away, the National Lottery operator in South Africa is urging the owner of the winning ticket to come forward as soon as possible. National Lottery spokesperson, Dudu Ndendwa has reminded players how important it is to check their tickets after every draw; “Players have 365 days from the winning draw date of a particular game in which they can claim their prizes. However, we appeal to them to validate their unclaimed tickets on a regular basis at their nearest National Lottery terminal to avoid any unforeseen circumstances.”
However, it isn’t just the South African Powerball which has an unclaimed jackpot prize. Over in America, the US Powerball has a wealth of unclaimed prizes huge US$130 million jackpot which was won back in November 2013 by a ticket purchased in New York but, to date, remains unclaimed.
Unclaimed lottery prizes across the globe are increasingly common as the number and popularity of lotteries grows. With an increase in ticket sales also comes an increase in the number of tickets lost, stolen, discarded or accidentally destroyed and, consequently, an increase in the number of unclaimed prizes. However, this is being gradually countered by the increasing popularity of online ticket purchases where tickets are stored securely in the player’s account and automatically checked for any winning combinations. As these online facilities notify the ticket holder if their ticket has won and, in most cases, pays winnings directly into the player’s account, it is likely that the number of unclaimed prizes will reduce over time.