Mega lottery bucks go unclaimed every year

RJOh's avatar - chipmunk

These facts are in contrast with some players claims that lotteries cheat to make even more money.   There seems to be plenty of players who are willing to spend a buck to be in the game but aren't willing to spend time checking their tickets after the drawings which results in millions of dollars going unclaimed.

Velocity's avatar - Gin

I dont understand if you play the lottery and the goal is to win MONEY why wouldnt you check your tickets or put them in a safe place?  Jackpots going unclaimed!?!  I would pass out if I beat those odds and never looked at my ticket until it was too late...

diamondpalace's avatar - Untitled 2.jpg

I scratch my head when hearing that tickets go unclaimed...When I purchased a ticket I treat it as a winner untill it is proven wrong, this way I treat it with care and security to prevent it from lost.

ThatScaryChick's avatar - giphy11resized

It's crazy. I am sure some people may have lost their tickets or even passed on, but I don't think that is what happens to the majority of the tickets. I think most of these people for some reason just don't check their tickets.

chasingadream's avatar - Archangel 01.jpg

I've said it before and I'll say it again......this would never happen to me unless I die. Thats the only way any of my tickets would go unclaimed.

GamerMom's avatar - tails

in June of 2001, a New Jersey winner of a $46 million Big Game lottery jackpot was able to collect his prize after the deadline because — get this — he stuck the winning ticket in an envelope addressed to the lottery and dropped it in a mailbox a day before the deadline.  It arrived three days after the deadline, but since the postmark was before the deadline, he was paid the big bucks.

The N.J. winner's ticket was in a drawer full of junk for nearly a year before he found it.

When he told his wife about sending the ticket via regular mail (not even certified mail), her response was, "Are you crazy?"


I would have choked him!!!!  If that was my ticket I would have driven to cash it in the second I found out I won.  I can understand mailing it if it were a few hundred or a grand but 46 MILLION??????? He must not have needed the $$$ very badly!!

Todd's avatar - Cylon 200.jpg
In response to GamerMom

Yeah, I agree, which is why I love telling that story. 

(That was one of my additions to this news story.)

You can still find one of the original versions of the news story about the Big Game winner here:

DC81's avatar - batman39

I remember that story and strangely enough was thinking about it the other day and I still think "what an idiot!"

Seriously, aside from the whole deadline issue, it's just insane to mail it. I wonder whatever happened to that guy. Losing a ticket is one thing, but having it and not bothering to check it? That's just moronic no matter what excuse you have, you deserve to lose out.

In response to RJOh

 I bet 99% of unclaimed prizes are small prizes worth about 1~5 bucks. Most people won't even bother to claim the prize unless it's significantly large.

BabyJC's avatar - Lottery-031.jpg

All that unclaimed money should go into a raffle-type drawing after the deadline has passed.

ICNUMBERS's avatar - the eye.png

Just think about all of the $1 scratch off's or any other ticket at that rate that goes unclaimed. Once I was ridding w/a friend and they had the winning ticket in the ashtray and was going to throw it away they had never checked the tickets.


Here is a tip:  Do NOT put a potential winning ticket, or definite winning ticket in your pants pocket if at all possible.  Either put it in your wallet/purse or hold it in your hand( in a protective envelope or sheath) until you get to the car or get home.

Another tip(unrelated to this story):  When buying quick/easy picks, mark a play slip and hand it to the clerk instead of telling the clerk you want a quick /easy pick of a certain game.  I say this because the other day I wanted classic lotto and was given powerball.  My way, the clerk is not able to f*** it up and give you a ticket you did not want because the clerk will just slip the playslip in and not accidently punch up the wrong button.

Just recently, I asked for classic lotto QP, got PB QP.  Fortunately, I won 7 bucks on a  1 dollar bet, so I wasn't upset very much.  But other times I won nothing on a ticket I did not ask for.




In response to RJOh


Throwing down money on the lotery is the fun part, the entertainment.  Checking the tickets is hard work, at least for many lazy lottery players.



In response to BabyJC



That is a great idea!  I love raffles, at least when I win something.



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