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Californians to get a full year to claim Mega Millions lottery prizes

Apr 24, 2008, 1:15 pm

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Mega MillionsMega Millions: Californians to get a full year to claim Mega Millions lottery prizes

California lottery players originally had just 6 months to claim Mega winnings, while those in other states had 12. The change takes effect Jan. 1.

Californians who keep their winning Mega Millions lottery tickets in their sock drawers will soon get an additional six months to dig them out and cash them in.

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed legislation Wednesday that extends the time for claiming a jackpot in the multi-state lottery game from six months to a year.

The change, effective Jan. 1, addresses a court decision that challenged California's requirement that prizes be claimed in six months although players in other states participating in the same Mega Millions game have 12 months to do so.

That discrepancy could have jeopardized Mega Millions revenue that goes to schools in California, officials said.

"This legislation should allow us to put the concerns about Mega Millions behind us," said Joan Borucki, director of the California Lottery. "Californians can now continue to enjoy this exciting game and the more than $834 million in cash prizes since the California Lottery began offering Mega Millions in 2005."

Voters approved the state lottery in 1984, requiring that at least half its revenue be returned to the public in prizes and at least 34% benefit public education, with the rest allowed for expenses. The original bill called for prizes not claimed in 180 days to revert to education programs.

However, in 2005, the state Lottery Commission voted for California to become the 12th state to join the Mega Millions multi-state lottery.

The decision was challenged in a suit filed that year by Californians Against Gambling Expansion, on grounds that it was not approved by the Legislature or voters.

A year later, Sacramento County Superior Court Judge Lloyd Connelly found that the Lottery Commission does have authority to enter into a multi-state lottery.

But he also said the requirement to claim prizes in six months created a "slight possibility" that revenue would not go to California education when prizes were claimed after six months in other states.

"Our citizens in California now have a longer period to claim their prize, and this reconciles our deadline with those of the other states," said Assemblyman Van Tran (R-Garden Grove), who wrote the bill.

LA Times

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12 comments. Last comment 13 years ago by JimmySand9.
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Avatar
Qabloc!zewana
Neutral Zone
Member #14628
April 29, 2005
36 Posts
Offline

Really....  Who in their right mind would want to wait a year? 

 

Let's see, it would take about 2 days to set up a trust with a lawyer, set up a bank, change phone numbers and the like -- maybe all done within a week.  That's all the time I'll need, especially to claim the prize anonymously.  The sooner the better, just to maximize the interest that could be obtained.

    RJOh's avatar - chipmunk
    100
    mid-Ohio
    United States
    Member #9
    March 24, 2001
    20272 Posts
    Offline

    In Ohio, another MegaMillions state, players still only have 180 days to claim their winnings.

     * you don't need to buy every combination, just the winning ones * 

    Thumbs Up       

      benir4u's avatar - be 20you.jpg
      Sacramento,Ca
      United States
      Member #1954
      July 31, 2003
      3703 Posts
      Online

      People in the middle of a divorce!!!!  LOL


        United States
        Member #59165
        March 8, 2008
        174 Posts
        Offline

        I would like to see them increase the deadline to twenty or thirty years; maybe even fifty.  First of all, because stupid people need all the advantages society can give them.  Also, maybe the original holder will die, and a more intelligent sibling will find the ticket and claim the prize. 

        The longer it takes for the state to grab the money, the better the chance some great-great granchild will find the ticket in the junk in the closet drawer.

          JackpotWanna's avatar - squiz

          United States
          Member #4121
          March 23, 2004
          817 Posts
          Offline

          NY has it for 1 year too.  I doubt I would wait for a whole year to claim the jackpot. Maybe 3 months will be fine.  Lot of thing could happen within 1 year.  If you can keep a secret, then 1 year would be great for planning your future.  It also depends on your age too.

            JackpotWanna's avatar - squiz

            United States
            Member #4121
            March 23, 2004
            817 Posts
            Offline

            Maybe it is better to claim quickly.  I recall a story where the store owner found the jackpot winner by using the store's video cam. Do you guys remember this?

              GamerMom's avatar - tails

              United States
              Member #60533
              April 21, 2008
              460 Posts
              Offline

              People in the middle of a divorce!!!!  LOL

              ROFL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                GamerMom's avatar - tails

                United States
                Member #60533
                April 21, 2008
                460 Posts
                Offline

                NY has it for 1 year too.  I doubt I would wait for a whole year to claim the jackpot. Maybe 3 months will be fine.  Lot of thing could happen within 1 year.  If you can keep a secret, then 1 year would be great for planning your future.  It also depends on your age too.

                see i'm too paranoid to do that. i would go the next day; I'm too afraid something would happen to me or the ticket before turning it in.   

                  lottocalgal's avatar - Lottery-043.jpg
                  CA
                  United States
                  Member #57220
                  December 23, 2007
                  587 Posts
                  Offline

                  I'd only need the amount of time it takes to find a reputable attorney, a financial advisor and I will be drving down to sacramento in a heartbeat!  I would need roughly 2 to 3 weeks.

                    liberal47's avatar - Rowlf
                    Holt MI
                    United States
                    Member #2244
                    September 4, 2003
                    69 Posts
                    Offline

                    Californians Against Gambling Expansion, hah what a joke!

                    No offense to any Cali people who read this, but I've been in the Golden State for six months now, and my opinion is that the lottery out here SUCKS.  The Mega Millions prize payouts are all over the board. When it comes to hitting five white balls you stand the chance 9 times out of ten of not winning 250,000 but far less, maybe 160,000 on average, when the jackpot is below 200 million. Sure the chances of hitting five white balls is pretty slim, but when, and if, I did, I'd still be thinking about the extra 100k that I would have gotten in all the other Mega states.

                    The casinos in this state are out of control, Seems like there is one in every other county. It sure puts the kibosh on lottery activity, and now Arnold wants to privatize the California lottery. It could only help! The state sure dosen't seem to have a grasp of how to do it right . All I can think is that the casino lobby doesn't want the competition, and considering the amount California is milking the casinos for every year, I can see why. 


                      United States
                      Member #59165
                      March 8, 2008
                      174 Posts
                      Offline

                      I'd only need the amount of time it takes to find a reputable attorney, a financial advisor and I will be drving down to sacramento in a heartbeat!  I would need roughly 2 to 3 weeks.

                      This law is not written for people like you.  It was written for those who couldn't find their rear with both hands.  Those that spend money and don't remember what they spent it on, or where the purchased item is located.  We would call them idiots, but that isn't PLC.  You have to have compassion for the idiots of the world.  Thus, they extend the time line to a year. Makes every one feel warm and fuzzy!

                        Avatar

                        United States
                        Member #1826
                        July 11, 2003
                        2645 Posts
                        Offline

                        Drop in the bucket. If they want more sales they need to bring back live, ball drawings for the daily draws, and have a massive increase in prize payout percentages for scratchers. Extending the period to claim prizes and letting people choose their payment option at the time of claim are moot points.

                        (insert signature here)