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Oklahoma lottery winners not in a hurry to claim prizes

Oklahoma LotteryOklahoma Lottery: Oklahoma lottery winners not in a hurry to claim prizes

Oklahoma retailers have sold winning lottery tickets totaling nearly $110 million, but ten winners have yet to claim more than $102 million in prizes.

News on 6 anchor Tami Marler explains why they might be waiting to come forward.

You're 33 times more likely to be killed by a bolt of lightening than win a Powerball jackpot, but just five months into Oklahoma's participation in the 31-state lottery, a Broken Arrow Quik Trip sold a winning ticket worth $101.8-million.

It's not Oklahoma's only unclaimed prize. Whoever purchased a ticket at Mr. Bass in Skiatook in February, still hasn't picked up their $200,000 winnings. They have 180-days from the purchase date, which gives them less than two months.

There are several other locations where winning tickets have been sold, but the prizes have yet to be claimed. Someone purchased a winning ticket at a south Tulsa Quik Trip worth $400,000. That drawing was on April 1st.

So why aren't people coming forward? Financial analysts say there may be good reason to wait the full 180 days.

"Maybe it would make sense to grow a beard, change my hair color, put my house up for sale in the meantime." Brandt and Beau Brock joke that lottery winners may first want to go into hiding, then consult with a financial advisor. "Probably a lot of people, among other reasons, are taking the cash payment because they have some immediate things they want to do with it."

Taking cash up-front on $101.8-million jackpot actually means more like $24-million in your pocket. A stream of 30-annual payments would total more than $62-million after taxes, a risk-free return of more than 6.5 percent.

"It would be difficult to replicate that in a guaranteed setting just to invest it on your own." Out of nearly 50 winners in Powerball's history, only two have chosen the annuity. "The stock market tends to do 10-to-12 percent a year, so if you were to invest in equities and fairly aggressive. It would be substantially more than what you would earn with the regular annual payout that's at the 6.71 percent."

Lottery officials say they're required to identify winners, so the public knows exactly where the money goes. It's not unusual for winners to "wait" to come forward. If the prizes aren't claimed, the first half-million goes to the state Department of Mental Health, to help treat compulsive gambling. The rest goes back into the overall pool, for future prizes or special promotions.

News on 6

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5 comments. Last comment 11 years ago by ochoop17.
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bellyache's avatar - 64x64a9wg

United States
Member #12618
March 18, 2005
2060 Posts
Posted: June 29, 2006, 12:11 pm - IP Logged

Maybe the person who won the $100 million powerball there recently is getting things together before turning in the ticket. If I were them I wouldn't rush it either.

Dance like no one is watching.

    United States
    Member #7853
    October 15, 2004
    11350 Posts
    Posted: June 29, 2006, 3:51 pm - IP Logged

    garth brooks might've been there to visit his home state and got together with toby keith and they bought all the combinations to win.lol

      New Member
      Okc, OK
      United States
      Member #42245
      June 29, 2006
      1 Posts
      Posted: June 29, 2006, 7:36 pm - IP Logged

      I believe the reason so many have not come forward may be because the MACHINES HAVE NOT WORKED.  These people may not have checked their numbers and just relied on the retailers' machines, which can report incorrectly.  I have seen this first hand... the machine read the ticket wrong, but I already knew it was a winner, so the clerk kept trying.  It FINALLY told the clerk that I was a winner.  I know of one person who threw away their ticket from one of these locations that have unclaimed prizes... they relied on the machine...


        United States
        Member #10720
        January 23, 2005
        933 Posts
        Posted: June 29, 2006, 11:10 pm - IP Logged

        I don't hear 33 times as many stories about people getting hit by lightning as Powerball winner stories. Those odds are a little off because:

        - The odds of getting hit by lightning are higher if you stand under tall trees during a thunderstorm; lower if you are smart enough not to. Are those odds for a person's entire lifetime or "per thunderstorm" or something?

        - The odds of winning the jackpot by buying ONE ticket your ENTIRE life are "33 times higher" - do you know anyone who played only one ticket one time in their life? (excluding those who never play)

        - Odds are made to be beaten.  When I had the "5" the odds on that were "500,000 to 1" or so, since I played 2 lines it was actually 1/2 of that on THAT drawing, and if I play at least a few a week the overall odds are not near that. NOTE: the odds are assuming your systems are all for nothing and it's purely random.

        - just heard on the news as I was typing this (no kidding) of someone being struck by lightning in a pool, Seriously - I hope they are ok. 

          North Brunswick NJ
          United States
          Member #39013
          May 8, 2006
          12655 Posts
          Posted: June 30, 2006, 8:37 am - IP Logged

           If the prizes aren't claimed, the first half-million goes to the state Department of Mental Health, to help treat compulsive gambling. The rest goes back into the overall pool, for future prizes or special promotions


          Maybe someone from the Dept. of Mental Health won prizesCrazy