Over 70 other prizes valued at $1,000 and above unclaimed
By Kate Northrop
Mega Millions lottery players in Iowa should rifle through their drawers if they think they bought a ticket in Ames last year, as there are just two weeks left on the clock to claim a $1 million Mega Millions prize.
Time is ticking to collect a $1 million Mega Millions prize in Iowa, and it'll soon expire if no one steps forward to claim it.
Last September, someone in Ames bought a Mega Millions ticket at the Gateway Express on University Boulevard for the drawing on Sept. 6, 2022 that won a million dollars. The ticket matched the first five white ball numbers — 6, 17, 46, 59, and 68 — but missed the Mega Ball 2 to win the then-$191 million jackpot.
For drawings taking place on or before April 22, 2023, lottery players in Iowa have 365 days from the draw date to claim prizes from Mega Millions, Powerball, Lucky for Life, and Lotto America, and on Sept. 6, 2023, that million-dollar prize will go out the window.
More specifically, money from unclaimed prizes in Iowa goes into the lottery's prize pools for future games and promotions, according to the Iowa Lottery.
Each year in the state, about $1 million to $2 million in lottery prizes go unclaimed, according to Iowa Lottery Vice President of External Relations Mary Neubauer.
2019 marked a year of unclaimed winnings on the higher end of the spectrum, clocking in at $2,574,011 in expired winnings. That year, the Lottery decided to hold another drawing for one expired prize worth $1 million when no one came forward to claim it.
It was called the "Woo Hoo a Million for You Giveaway," and for the three-week duration of the promotion, any Powerball ticket purchased in Iowa was eligible to win. Out of 165,265 entries, a group of co-workers from Cedar Rapids won the $1 million prize.
There are currently over 70 unclaimed lottery prizes in Iowa valued at $1,000 and over, including a $150,000 Powerball prize from a ticket bought at Floyd Food & Fuel on Floyd Boulevard in Sioux City that will expire in October, and another $150,000 Powerball prize from a ticket bought at Hy-Vee C-Store on Park Street in Sheldon that will expire in November. Those winners may claim their prizes at any of the Lottery's offices in Clive, Storm Lake, Mason City, or Cedar Rapids.
If there is a chance the owner of the $1 million Mega Millions ticket bought in Ames will step forward within the next two weeks, they must do so at Lottery headquarters in Clive.
Iowa players should also note that, following April 23, 2023, prizes for Mega Millions, Powerball, Lucky for Life, and Lotto America will have to be claimed within 180 days of the draw date.
Winners have up to 90 days from the draw date to claim prizes in the Iowa Lottery's Pick 3, Pick 4, and InstaPlay games, but the winner has until the close of business on the next business day if the expiration date falls on a weekend or holiday when Lottery offices are closed.