In Wisconsin alone - hardly a large American state - the value of unclaimed lottery prizes over the last 18 years adds up to a whopping $57 million (£36.5 million). That cash goes towards property tax relief, but chunks of it could have been safely nestled in a winner’s bank account instead!
The Georgia Lottery has a similar problem on a larger scale. In March 2015 alone, the lottery picked up $7.8 million (£4.9 million) in unclaimed prizes after their owners failed to redeem them. Scratchcards were the largest source of trouble - when an instant win game ends, players have 90 days to turn in winning cards and pick up prizes, but an untold number of participants never set about grabbing that cash. The money is then allocated to funding K-12 and university education in the state. While it’s a truly worthwhile cause, it’s a good bet that the players would rather have the money in their own pockets.
This problem isn’t limited to the United States, as several international lottery winners have also lost out on massive prizes. In 2012, a British ticket holder who scooped £63.8 million on EuroMillions never stepped forward to claim their money, despite the best efforts of Camelot to track them down, and so the entire eight-figure sum was allocated to Good Causes. It was the largest unclaimed lottery prize in British history, and a real loss for whoever the winner might have been!
Playing lottery games online is perhaps the best way to prevent losing out on the chance to win a seven, eight or even nine-figure prize. You’ll feel at peace knowing that a copy of your ticket is safe and sound in your account, and that if you do win a prize you’ll be notified straight away. The last thing you want is to realise you’re a millionaire just one day after the claims period expires!