Of course, unclaimed jackpots are still the exception. The big winners almost always collect their winnings but unclaimed prizes are no exception. You’d be surprised how often players don’t turn in their tickets. Many people don’t realize that their ticket has won a secondary prize or they don’t even know that secondary prizes existed.
With thousands of winners each day, prizes go quickly. Tickets for the games expire 120 days from the date of the drawing. Thousands of unclaimed winnings pile up every year because they are not claimed by anyone after the deadline pass. If the winner does not come forward within a specific time period, the winning prize is declared unclaimed.
What happens to the money?
After someone wins from any state or multi-state game, they have a deadline to claim their prize. Unclaimed winning prizes pile up, reaching millions of unclaimed winnings each year. If the deadline passes and a prize remains unclaimed, what happens to it?
When it comes to the unclaimed prizes won, their distribution differs from state to state. Unclaimed prizes are kept by the governing jurisdiction – half of the states are required to put the money back into a game, while the others must turn it over to the state’s general fund. When the money is given back to the community, there are some specific areas that benefits the most from it – charity and education. 95% of the funds are given back into the community, and one of the way they do it are their contributions to public education and charity organizations. They yearly send over $1 billion to public schools and colleges all over the state, and some of that money helped in creation of computer labs, essential accelerated reading programs, arts and music programs and advanced placement classes.