There are five unclaimed lottery tickets in Michigan, three of which hold a million-dollar prize with two expiring next month. Imagine having a potentially life-changing ticket without even knowing it.
Annually, lottery officials nationwide report that many players miss out on substantial prize winnings. They say this happens because they are either unaware of their victories or decide not to cash in their tickets, while others simply don’t bother to cash them in, thinking it’s not worth the hassle for smaller sums. Occasionally, players strategically delay claiming significant winning tickets, choosing to wait until the following year for tax considerations. But for larger prizes, jackpot winners most likely will show up.
In May of last year, a one-million-dollar ticket reached its expiration date. This winning Powerball ticket, drawn on May 5, 2021, was originally purchased at Warren Market on Mound Road in Warren. An entire year passed without anyone presenting the winning ticket, leading to its expiration at 4:45 p.m. on May 5, 2022. Nationally, each year, unclaimed funds amount to billions of dollars, with the largest share coming from multi-state games according to the Multi-State Lottery Association (MUSL).
What happens to unclaimed winnings?
A winning ticket usually expires 90 days to one year after the drawing date. When a lottery prize remains unclaimed, the money contributed by each participating state is returned to them. These funds are typically reinvested into the lottery fund to support future jackpots and other lottery activities. In states like California and Michigan, these unclaimed funds are directed toward supporting educational initiatives.
Moreover, a significant portion of the prize money goes toward paying retailer commissions for winning tickets, vendor fees, and supporting state programs.
It’s important to note that unclaimed winnings are distinct from cases with no winner. Unclaimed winnings occur when a lottery retailer has issued a winning ticket, but the ticket holder has not come forward to claim their prize. In situations with no winning ticket, the jackpot increases for the next drawing based on the total amount spent by players in the participating state.
Could you have an unclaimed ticket?
Before you go on about your day, it might be wise to check your coat pockets or your car’s glove box for any potential winning tickets from previous drawings. Take a look at Michigan Lottery’s five unclaimed prizes.