Lottery draws are usually the cause for celebration, especially if you happen to have a winning ticket. Yet, Michigan Lottery officials are still frantically trying to track down two winners who made a purchase almost a year ago but have not yet claimed their winnings. Chances are the lottery tickets have been thrown away, as has happened many times before, and the lucky winners will turn out to be sour losers – that is if they ever realize their mistake.
Time Is Closing for Lottery Winners in Michigan
In the United States, millions’ worth of lottery winnings goes unclaimed every year, but lotteries continue to chase the errant winners who are none the wiser about their sudden change of fortunes. The lottery confirmed that a ticket bought on May 5, 2021, and yielding $1 million in prize money has not been redeemed by the lucky player.
Another ticket was bought on April 24, 2021, and yielding another $150,000 was also yet to be claimed. Most lotteries have clear-cut rules about how such negligence is handled with the majority simply scrapping the prize and pouring it back into the pool or contributing it to various charities. Most lotteries only have a 90-day wait period after which the winners automatically forfeit their winnings, regardless of whether they have been aware of the winning status of the ticket they bought.
The Michigan Lottery even has information about where each of the winning tickets was bought. For example, the $1-million ticket was bought from the Warren Market at 28069 Mount Road in Warren, Michigan. The winner chose 16-23-28-40-63 as their winning stake. The lottery is about to automatically deem the prizes void should the winners fail to turn up by 4:45 EDT a year after the lottery draws in 2021.
Staggering Sums Go Unclaimed in the United States
In other words, there are less than two weeks for the $1 million ticket prize to be claimed and less than a week for the $150,000 winner. Failing to do so would be a waste to the player but also to chance, as the chances of actually getting five white balls on Power Ball are one in 11.68 million compared to one in 913,129 for four white balls.
Unclaimed lottery winnings are common. In 2021, the staggering $26 million went unclaimed off a single ticket in California after a winner failed to turn up in the allocated period. In March, Maryland Lottery and Gaming said that a winner had still not come forth to claim their prize pools.
Part of the reason why people fail to collect their winnings is that many buy lottery tickets as a force of habit and often discard or lose the tickets as they believe there is no real chance of them actually winning. This makes for sloppy winners who are perhaps history’s biggest losers.