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Louisiana lottery winnings of $11M went unclaimed last year

Louisiana LotteryLouisiana Lottery: Louisiana lottery winnings of $11M went unclaimed last year

Nearly $11 million in lottery winnings in Louisiana went unclaimed in the fiscal year that ended June 30, according to Louisiana lottery officials. The year before, unclaimed prize money totaled $8.5 million.

Bo Bernhard, executive director of the International Gaming Institute at the University of Nevada-Las Vegas, assumes some of the unclaimed prizes involve people who throw out their Mega Millions or Power Ball tickets after doing a quick check and realizing they didn't match the first few numbers. People either don't realize or don't care, given that they were hoping to win big money, that matching even a single number generates prize money of $2 to $4.

Bernhard also has a theory that Americans in the cyber age are getting less efficient at holding on to physical things, like small lottery tickets. "In a world where we no longer collect as much 'stuff' in the form of paper records — as our address book moves into our phone, as does virtually every other record we keep — I suspect some people simply misplace them and forget about it," Bernhard said.

Not all the unclaimed prizes are small. In 2011, a $77 million Powerball Jackpot in Georgia went unclaimed. As a result, states that sell Powerball lottery tickets got money back. For Louisiana it was $1.38 million.

Losing a ticket is a real downer for the big prizes, given the excruciatingly long odds against matching all six Powerball or Mega Millions numbers. For both games, the odds are slightly more than 1 in 175 million.

According to Mike Orkin, author of "What are the Odds? Chances in Everyday Life," a person who drives 10 miles to buy a Powerball ticket is 16 times more likely to die in a car crash than to win the big jackpot.

Some Louisiana purchasers of winning tickets with pretty big prizes are close to the deadline for cashing in. According to the Louisiana Lottery Corp., a person who bought a $30,000 winning ticket at Swifty's in Mandeville has until Sept. 26 to claim the prize. And the holder of a $3 million winning Mega Millions ticket, purchased at Murphy Express in Denham Springs, must claim the prize by Oct. 7.

People have six months to claim prizes for draw-style games like Mega Millions and Powerball, and 90 days to collect winnings from rub-off tickets.

Prize money not claimed by Louisiana winners goes to the state lottery, which uses it to increase payouts on scratch-off tickets, second chance drawings and other lottery promotions, according to Kimberly Chopin, spokeswoman for the Louisiana Lottery Corporation.

Louisiana paid out $226.2 million in winnings in the past fiscal year, though that number hasn't been audited.

Times-Picayune

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10 comments. Last comment 2 years ago by mcginnin56.
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Avatar
Texas
United States
Member #132460
September 4, 2012
483 Posts
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Posted: September 11, 2012, 9:29 am - IP Logged

This is not good.  Why haven't lottery enthusiasts claimed their winnings?  Did they lose their lottery tickets? Were they scared of what will future would bring? Did they know that their tickets won?  Just some questions on my mind right now...


    United States
    Member #111446
    May 25, 2011
    6323 Posts
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    Posted: September 11, 2012, 9:47 am - IP Logged

    This is not good.  Why haven't lottery enthusiasts claimed their winnings?  Did they lose their lottery tickets? Were they scared of what will future would bring? Did they know that their tickets won?  Just some questions on my mind right now...

    Most likely the usual.... threw out accidentally, dog ate ticket, forgot they played, born again Christian who burned ticket as a sacrifice, or the

    insane people who didn't understand what a lottery ticket was, when they bought it.  Crazy

      Cletu$2's avatar - Lottery-050.jpg
      S.E.Iowa
      United States
      Member #120509
      December 21, 2011
      534 Posts
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      Posted: September 11, 2012, 11:27 am - IP Logged

      People who do not want their winning Lottery tickets are urged to give them to me!

      When I was a boy I was told that anybody could become President; I'm beginning to believe it. ~Clarence Darrow

      There ought to be one day - just one - when there is open season on senators. ~Will Rogers

        LottoGuyBC's avatar - Lottery-050.jpg
        British Columbia
        Canada
        Member #116105
        September 4, 2011
        3373 Posts
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        Posted: September 11, 2012, 12:51 pm - IP Logged

        maybe fogot where they hid the ticket

        misplaced ticket(s)

        "You have to be in it to win it!"

          Avatar
          NY
          United States
          Member #23835
          October 16, 2005
          2809 Posts
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          Posted: September 11, 2012, 3:16 pm - IP Logged

          "a $3 million winning Mega Millions ticket"

          How do you get one of those? It must be a ticket with the correct 5 numbers and the megaplier on 3 lines. I'd guess that somebody playing a ticket like that isn't the type to be careless about checking their results.

          Of course they could be the type to die before telling anyone else that they won. That would be a pretty steep estate tax.


            United States
            Member #111446
            May 25, 2011
            6323 Posts
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            Posted: September 11, 2012, 5:32 pm - IP Logged

            Another real possibility could be space aliens who made the lucky purchases, but left unexpectedly before they could redeem their winning tickets.

              maringoman's avatar - kobold
              Massachusetts
              United States
              Member #37433
              April 14, 2006
              1798 Posts
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              Posted: September 11, 2012, 8:50 pm - IP Logged

              I pray that I never win and forget to check my tickets. I would kill myself if I found an expired jackpot ticket tucked in my glove compartment.

              Alright, my turn.

                haymaker's avatar - Lottery-012.jpg
                egg harbor twp.south jersey shore
                United States
                Member #112972
                June 29, 2011
                3059 Posts
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                Posted: September 11, 2012, 10:26 pm - IP Logged

                I pray that I never win and forget to check my tickets. I would kill myself if I found an expired jackpot ticket tucked in my glove compartment.

                Act like a chigago voter, check (vote) your tix. early and often,

                 no one wants you to do anything rash.

                 

                "put em in your pocket"Smile

                Extraordinary Popular Delusions & the Madness of Crowds    -- Charles Mackay  LL.D.

                  HaveABall's avatar - rocket

                  United States
                  Member #72448
                  March 18, 2009
                  923 Posts
                  Online
                  Posted: September 14, 2012, 1:18 am - IP Logged

                  Another real possibility could be space aliens who made the lucky purchases, but left unexpectedly before they could redeem their winning tickets.

                  Geez, mcginnin56, I never thought of this.  I bet you're on to something BIG!  Because if an alian is leaving and isn't expecting to return, why waste time filling out a claim form and waiting the 2-4 weeks for the electronic funds transfer to occur into the financial account!

                  Your suggestion, provided me lots of LOL, thanks! Conehead

                  Having millions of dollars in my financial accounts means more, consistent fun for me.Lovies


                    United States
                    Member #111446
                    May 25, 2011
                    6323 Posts
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                    Posted: September 14, 2012, 6:52 am - IP Logged

                    Geez, mcginnin56, I never thought of this.  I bet you're on to something BIG!  Because if an alian is leaving and isn't expecting to return, why waste time filling out a claim form and waiting the 2-4 weeks for the electronic funds transfer to occur into the financial account!

                    Your suggestion, provided me lots of LOL, thanks! Conehead

                    Your welcome HaveABall!