Do lotto jackpots really go unclaimed?

Show us your winning ticket and we’ll show you your winnings. This may seem like basic advice to many who play the lottery on a regular basis, but many players don’t know this. Can you believe that over the years billions of dollars in jackpot prizes have gone unclaimed? Here’s how jackpots really go unclaimed and how you can avoid it.

Do lotto jackpots really go unclaimed?

How to collect winnings

You’ve picked your numbers, bought your lottery ticket and now you wait. Draw day comes and your lucky numbers turn out to be The One. You’ve won! In order to collect your jackpot winnings, you need to provide proof that you’ve won, so you simply show your ticket.

Lottery winner stories are never the same, but this is the general gameplan of dedicated players. While this may be the plan, this is not how things always turn out.

Unclaimed jackpots

Unclaimed jackpots


Over the last 15 years there are 5 winning ticket holders that failed to claim their Powerball or Mega Millions jackpot prizes.

If you think winners passed up small prizes, think again! Prices range from a $31 million ticket from 2006 to a $77 million winning ticket from 2011. Sadly for these ticket holders, these prizes have expired and their luck has run out.

Many thought that the August 11, 2017 Mega Millions winner of $393 million, would also be added to the list of unclaimed winnings, but two weeks after the winning numbers were drawn, Patricia Busking came forward to claim her prize. Well done!


Where the unclaimed billions really come from

Billions are going unclaimed every year. Did you know that lotteries have secondary prizes? Many don’t know this, which then leads to a lack of winning claims.

Secondary prizes are issued to ticket holders who matched some, but not all the jackpot numbers. These prizes will range from $1 to millions of dollars - this applies to almost every lottery.

Players often check the winning numbers and assume that because they didn’t match all the winning jackpot numbers, they aren’t a winner. Depending on the lottery that is being played, millions could still be yours if you match a few of the numbers!

Massachusetts ticket holder wins millions. How often have you read jackpot announcements beginning with the location of the jackpot winner? Many we’re sure! Ticket holders assume that because they’re not in the location of the jackpot winner, they’re not a winner. But secondary prizes come from all over the map.

When jackpots rollover there might not be a jackpot winner, but there are still winners. Remember those secondary prizes we mentioned earlier? They apply to rollovers. Players assume that rollovers mean no winners, but secondary prizes still apply for the draw numbers.

Whether you’ve read about someone losing out on claiming their prize or you know someone personally - don’t let it happen to you! Now that you know lottery jackpots really go unclaimed, use our tips to make sure you never miss a prize. Always compare your ticket to the winning numbers and play online with to know that you’ll never lose your ticket! As a bonus, all winnings will be automatically added to your account. Start playing today to stand a chance of becoming a winner.

This post was written by
Michalah Francis - who has written 69 articles

Posted by Leyla (12/01/2022)

Thanks for the info

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