Where Was the Winning Australia Powerball Ticket Sold
The unwitting winner made their wager at Scole Lotto and News in Brunswick, a youthful and multicultural suburb of Melbourne, in the state of Victoria. They matched the numbers 5, 7, 11, 32, 34 and 38, with Powerball 12 in the Australia Powerball draw on Thursday 11th January to win the game’s largest jackpot in more than a year, but as they are an unregistered player, lottery operator Tatts has been unable to contact them to alert them to the good news.
Store owner Sam Misiano urged the player to “come forward and put me out of my misery.” He told the press, “We have a lot of people just come in off the streets and buy and we have a lot of customers who buy and work overseas but they're from Brunswick initially, it could be absolutely anybody.”
What Happens to the Prize Now?
Tatts spokesperson Bronnie Spencer confirmed that it was unusual for a big winner to take so long to make contact, but that there were occasions on which players found lucky tickets laying around the house, in pockets or in handbags long after the draw took place.
The good news for the Melbourne player is that lottery prizes in Victoria do not expire. The funds are transferred to the state revenue office if they remain unclaimed after six months, but the winner can still pick up the prize at any time.
Other Australian states have different rules on how long players have to stake a claim. Western Australia is the most strict, cancelling prizes that are not claimed within 12 months. In South Australia, there is also a 12-month window, but you can still file a claim for the cash if your winning slip suddenly appears after that period. Winners in the Australian Capital Territory and New South Wales have six years to pick up their prize, 12 months shy of the seven-year limit in Queensland.
All of these periods seem extremely generous when compared with Italy’s SuperEnalotto, where winners have just 60 days to contact lottery bosses.
Unclaimed Lottery Prizes
Every year players across the world miss out on big prizes, either because they lose their ticket or they simply forget to check the latest lottery results. In June 2017, operator Golden Casket made an appeal for four Queensland Lotto winners, who were due AU$5 million between them on tickets bought between 2014 and 2016.
In February 2016, a $63 million California Lotto prize went begging, six months after the winning draw, whilst a UK EuroMillions ticket holder from the Stevenage and Hitchin area of Hertfordshire missed out on £63.8 million having failed to come forward within 180 days of the June 2011 draw.
How to Avoid Missing Out on a Lottery Prize
The best way to avoid missing out on a big lottery prize is to play online. You cannot lose or damage a digital ticket, and you don’t have to worry about checking your numbers either. The website performs that task on your behalf, sending you an email to alert you to a prize, and most awards are paid directly into your player account.