largest unclaimed lottery

Top Biggest Unclaimed Lottery Tickets

In our top 5 biggest unclaimed lottery tickets, we take a look at all those huge prizes, all with life altering amounts of money, that for reasons unknown have remained unclaimed.

Introduction: Top 5 Biggest Unclaimed Lottery Tickets

In October 2018, the second biggest Jackpot in Mega Millions lottery was drawn. The ticket was from South Carolina and the amount was for a massive $1.5 billion. And yet no one stepped forwards to claim the prize. Five whole months were to elapse before the unnamed winner came forwards. Finally on March 2019, the lucky guy took a one of cash payment of $888. So where had he been all this time. Well, being a smart cookie, he was spending his time preparing by taking both legal and financial advice. Both his name and his whereabouts are unknown.

1. Powerball – $77 million – Georgia, U.S.

Somewhere out there, there’s a Georgia resident who is happily carrying on with his day to day, hopefully completely unaware that he missed out on $77 million. On 29th June, 2011, the state Powerball draw winning ticket was bought at a truck stop in Tallapoosa. Well, the official 108 days waiting period passed, with just the sound of tumbleweed and bullfrogs. Ultimately, the unclaimed lottery ticket expired in December of that year. The missed jackpot was the states largest unclaimed prize in the history of Georgia’s Powerball lottery.

2. Mega Millions – $68 million – New York, U.S.

The New York MegaMillion draw for $68 million took place on 24 December 2002. The winning ticket was from a convenience store in Queens. As above, the waiting for the winner to step forwards surpassed the time limit. But a scammer did step forwards. A certain Fritzner Bechette came made himself known over one year later. He even filed a lawsuit against the state lottery claiming that the had been trying to redeem his ticket of over a year. The only problem? Well he claims that his ticket went missing in a “non-retrievable situation”. Unfortunately for him, lottery officials did a thorough investigation. They were to discover that the winning ticket was from at a different location than the one he claimed to of bought his from.

3. EuroMillions – £64 million – Hertfordshire, U.K.

This unlucky winner hails from England and the amount, £64 million, represents the largest unclaimed prize in UK lottery history, and is actually, EuroMillions largest unclaimed winnings ever. Now we do know that the winning pair of tickets were purchased in the Stevenage and Hitchin area. Well, the 180 days expired and with it expired the prize of £127 million. Well, not quite. One of the ticket holders came forwards from Belgium, and in spite of the time limit being passed, the winning were still paid out, £64 million. Yet in spite of a huge publicity campaign, including TV ads and billboards, the other half of the winnings were unclaimed. In the end, as with all unclaimed lottery tickets in the UK, the money was distributed to a number of charities.

What are your numbers? – Image source: Flickr

4. SuperLotto Plus – $63 million – California, U.S.

A $63 SuperLotto prize was drawn on August 8th 2015. And it was to sit waiting for a claimant for the requires 180 days. And no one stepped forwards. Though the unclaimed lottery ticket was bought in Los Angeles. The prize was waiting for a winner who never showed up. That is, until a chancer came along. Brandy Miller claimed that he submitted the winning ticket and received a congratulatory note. Later he was again contacted by the lottery company, but this time telling him, that due to the state of his lottery ticket, they could not pay out the claim. After an investigation, it was discovered that his ticket not only didn’t match the original, but also was purchased at another 7-11 convenience store than the one stipulated on the winning ticket.

5. Powerball – $51.7 million – Indiana, U.S.

In September 2002, a winning Powerball ticket was from the Indianapolis International Airport at a Crystal Flash station. That ticket would go on the win a half share of a $103 jackpot. Now half was to go to a player in Pennsylvania. The Indiana lottery office tried their hardest to find the other winner ticket. They placed ads on TV shows, on the radio and even held regular events at the original store. But all to no avail. The time limit passed and the winnings remained unclaimed. Maybe someone is walking around with one of the biggest unclaimed lottery tickets still in their trouser pocket.

Why Billions in Prize Winnings Go Unclaimed Every Year

In the US alone, around $2 billion goes in unclaimed lottery tickets for winning prizes. Then in New York alone, in 2002, $103 million was waiting for owners of unclaimed winning tickets to walk through the door. The UK, the lottery company, Camalot claims that between 2017 and 2018, £122.5 of lottery prizes lay unclaimed. So just why are people not claiming their prizes?

The Reasons For Unclaimed Lottery Tickets

There’re actually several reasons. Probably the most common is that, when a player sees that they didn’t win the jackpot, they make an automatic assumption that they haven’t won anything. But they’re forgetting about those huge secondary prizes, that can be won by matching up only a few numbers. Another point is that some, after seeing the jackpot winner, are feeling such discouragement that they don’t even check their own ticket for smaller winnings. It’s a big mistake as these smaller winnings can go from just a few $ up to some millions.

Unclaimed Lottery Ticket: Play theLotter

And then we have the people who accidentally throw away their unclaimed lottery tickets. This is actually quite a common occurrence, with many a ticket ending up on the wrong side of the washing machine window. And this is where there’s a huge advantage of buying your lottery ticket online. The scanning of the ticket is automatic straight into the data-base, so there’s nothing to lose. That’s why we always recommend buying via theLotter. You never have to worry about a lost ticket, and if you’re are a lucky winner, then you’ll receive an SMS to that effect, so no tickets to chase either. Sounds like a win to us already.

Check out the latest lottery news to learn more about the actualities of the lottery industry.

About the Author

A former photographer, Jonathan has written extensively about the gambling industry over the last few years. Though perfectly happy chatting at a gaming trade show or lounging in the casino, his favorite place is on a motorcycle with his trusty hound, Yol.

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