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N.C. lottery counts on millions in unclaimed prizes

North Carolina LotteryNorth Carolina Lottery: N.C. lottery counts on millions in unclaimed prizes

The first night North Carolina residents could take part in the multistate Powerball lottery game, someone hit a $200,000 winner.

More than 11 weeks later, no one has claimed the prize.

It's a little-known fact that lottery games across the country keep millions of dollars in winnings are never claimed. The industry norm is that about 1 percent to 2 percent of prizes somehow fall through the cracks.

North Carolina lottery officials expect almost $9 million in lottery winnings will go unclaimed between last month and June.

That winning ticket from North Carolina's first Powerball was sold at the Wilco gas station in Aberdeen, about 80 miles south of Raleigh, near the golf resorts of the state's Sandhills region, lottery officials said.

The buyer has until late November — 180 days after the drawing — to claim the prize.

"You know, right before that drawing, there were 13 or 14 golfers who came in here, and they all bought five or 10 tickets each," clerk Amanda Harris said. "They weren't from around here. So who knows where it is?"

It's certainly not the biggest unclaimed prize in the game. In one famous Powerball case, a winning ticket worth $30.7 million, sold in Indiana in 2002, was never cashed in.

Why does it happen? Players toss winning tickets in the trash by accident. They misread them, lose them, forget about them. Sometimes, deadlines pass before ticket-holders act.

North Carolina's lottery is so new that no deadlines have yet passed for collecting winnings, so no money is considered unclaimed — yet.

A second $200,000 Powerball ticket sold in North Carolina also remains unclaimed. It was from the Aug. 2 drawing and was purchased at a gas station in Brevard.

Lottery officials heard by telephone from a woman who said she was the winner and would need a few weeks before coming to Raleigh to claim the money. All winners of $100,000 or more must collect the prize at lottery headquarters.

Most of the millions in unclaimed money will be from scratch-off tickets. Players must collect on instant tickets within 90 days of the announced end of a game.

Half of the unclaimed prize money will go to education programs. The other half will be plowed back into prizes for future games.

"I've seen' em come in on the very last day," said lottery director Tom Shaheen, who has worked for lotteries in four other states. "People leave them in drawers or glove boxes or wherever. When it gets down to the end, people will go and check those tickets, you can be sure about that."

AP

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11 comments. Last comment 10 years ago by cps10.
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Avatar
Coastal Georgia
United States
Member #2653
October 30, 2003
1866 Posts
Offline
Posted: August 21, 2006, 11:52 am - IP Logged

It ain't mine but I wish it was.....

DD

 

                               

              

 

 

    bellyache's avatar - 64x64a9wg

    United States
    Member #12618
    March 18, 2005
    2060 Posts
    Offline
    Posted: August 21, 2006, 2:17 pm - IP Logged

    I hope someone claims it before it expires.

    Dance like no one is watching.

      LuckyGirl21's avatar - abstract
      North Carolina
      United States
      Member #45203
      August 16, 2006
      34 Posts
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      Posted: August 21, 2006, 3:04 pm - IP Logged

      I wish it was mine also........................but alas it is not. I guess the old saying is true "ya snooze ya loose" and whoever has that ticket ya better...........WAKE UP!!!!!!!!! & CLAIM IT.Hyper

      DARE TO DREAM THE POSSIBILITIES!!!!

      Party

      PROUD TO BE A NORTH CAROLINA POWERBALL PLAYIN GAL!!!!!!!

        jeffrey's avatar - moon
        Hamilton, OH
        United States
        Member #4162
        March 27, 2004
        277 Posts
        Offline
        Posted: August 21, 2006, 3:07 pm - IP Logged

        There should be no expiration date. Hard enough to win. Don't cheat them out of the money.

          Avatar
          Englewood, Colorado
          United States
          Member #19108
          July 25, 2005
          51 Posts
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          Posted: August 21, 2006, 4:22 pm - IP Logged

          The expiration deadlines are completely fair. They are publicized and are reasonable. If someone who has a winning ticket can't be responsible enough to check it I have no pity for them. Why did they play in the first place?

            Todd's avatar - Cylon 2.gif
            Chief Bottle Washer
            New Jersey
            United States
            Member #1
            May 31, 2000
            23260 Posts
            Online
            Posted: August 21, 2006, 5:02 pm - IP Logged

            I personally think that in order for the state lotteries to be able to run an effective business, they need to have reasonable expiration dates.  It would be very difficult for them to run a budget if there were millions of dollars of old prizes on the books, several years old.

            However, I think a more reasonable expiration would be one year from the drawing date, rather than 180 days.

             

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              Avatar
              BILOXI, MISSISSIPPI
              United States
              Member #19651
              August 3, 2005
              621 Posts
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              Posted: August 21, 2006, 7:28 pm - IP Logged

              back in the early days you had 180 days but the last day of the year they had a unclimed prize jackpot      THIS was IL lotto about 1980    think  they should bring it back

                jeffrey's avatar - moon
                Hamilton, OH
                United States
                Member #4162
                March 27, 2004
                277 Posts
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                Posted: August 21, 2006, 10:01 pm - IP Logged

                Some people lose a ticket and then find it too late. Nothing wrong with a long expiration date. Year to 5 years.This would be more reasonable. My father died and his tickets expired before I could find them. My brother was sick in the hospital before he died for a year and he had several winners that had expired. Easy to say it is reasonable and completely fair but really for who? Once again, too hard to win to lose due to death, illness or a misplaced ticket.

                  cps10's avatar - Lottery-004.jpg
                  The Carolinas - Charlotte
                  United States
                  Member #21627
                  September 12, 2005
                  4138 Posts
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                  Posted: August 22, 2006, 11:41 am - IP Logged

                  I think a year, two max, would be good...as long as it counts as a short-term liability for the state. To keep a long-term liability on the states balance sheet is too much...they have other fish to fry in the LT Debt section of their B/S.

                  The North Carolina Education Lottery - so much a joke that here are their mascots:

                  Stooges

                    wizeguy's avatar - animaniacs04

                    United States
                    Member #15143
                    May 10, 2005
                    414 Posts
                    Offline
                    Posted: August 22, 2006, 12:11 pm - IP Logged

                    I think it should be 180 days from the announced end of game and not 90 days. For someone who doesn't always play scratchers regularly who looks for end of game announcements. They might have bought the ticket on the 2nd to last day and would have no idea. Ninety days is not enough. Ticket might also have been bought by an out of stater who only makes a few trips a year here and they got tickets on the way out of state.

                      cps10's avatar - Lottery-004.jpg
                      The Carolinas - Charlotte
                      United States
                      Member #21627
                      September 12, 2005
                      4138 Posts
                      Offline
                      Posted: August 22, 2006, 2:19 pm - IP Logged

                      I think it should be 180 days from the announced end of game and not 90 days. For someone who doesn't always play scratchers regularly who looks for end of game announcements. They might have bought the ticket on the 2nd to last day and would have no idea. Ninety days is not enough. Ticket might also have been bought by an out of stater who only makes a few trips a year here and they got tickets on the way out of state.

                      I Agree!

                      The North Carolina Education Lottery - so much a joke that here are their mascots:

                      Stooges