Almost $40M Unclaimed in Wisconsin Lottery Prize

April 9th, 2009 - 8:31 pm ICT by GD  

Not including the unclaimed scratch off winners, over $40 million has not been claimed by lottery prize winners in the last 11 years, according to Wisconsin Lottery.

Spokesman Andrew Bohage of Wisconsin Lottery said that based on current trends it is possible that another $3 million worth of lottery prizes could go unclaimed in the fiscal year ending June 30. It is mandatory to claim all prizes for lotto games with 180 days after the results have been announced or the unclaimed and not redeemed money goes for property tax relief. Bohage said that what goes to the state on most occasions are very small amounts although some $10,000 prizes remain unclaimed every year.

According to Bohage it is not possible to identify a single reason why the prize winners did not redeem the money. A possible reason, Bohage says, may be that many players do not understand that there may be intermediate levels before winning the jackpot. As an instance, the multistate Powerball game offers several prizes in the range of $3 to $200,00 according to the players’ matching of some of the six winning numbers.

Bohage said, “When Powerball jackpots get really big, people who don’t really pay attention to the game don’t necessarily know about those prize levels. They play the game thinking about the jackpot, but don’t check their tickets.” He also said that a lot of players lose their tickets or forget to turn them in before the final date and many others do not want to redeem their tickets against small prizes.

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