$14.6 Million Lottery Ticket Goes Unclaimed in Arizona after Winner Fails to Show Up
It is absurd how a lot of people invest in lottery tickets but never really bother to check for their winnings. A winning lottery ticket for $14.6 million just went unclaimed after the winner failed to show up before 5 p.m. on the December 2 deadline, to claim his win. According to the report on CNN, the winning ticket was bought in Goodyear, Arizona on the 5th of June 2019.
Tickets typically expire after 180 days, and in this case, 180 days have come and gone with no one showing up to claim this massive win. According to the report, this is the largest prize ever in Arizona to go unclaimed.
"There is nothing more exciting for Arizona Lottery than to award a large jackpot, like this $14.6 million prize, so we are always a little sad when we see one of these prizes expire unclaimed," Gregg Edgar, executive director of the Arizona Lottery, said in a statement.
"To claim any prize of $600 or more, a winner needs to sign the back of their ticket and come to one of the Arizona Lottery's offices," Arizona Lottery public information officer John Gilliland said, quoted on CNN on Tuesday.
Unclaimed lottery tickets are not uncommon; however unclaimed tickets for such huge amounts are a rare occurrence. In the 2019 financial year, over $11.6 million went unclaimed in Arizona Lottery, Gilliland said.
Lottery expert Brett Jacobson told CNN in 2018 that starting from the middle of the year 2016 to June 2017; there were $2.89 billion in unclaimed lottery prizes. Andin 2017, 167 prizes totalling over $1 million went unclaimed. A$77 million winning ticket bought in Georgia in June 2011 also went unclaimed; this is the biggest-ever unclaimed prize yet.
Before the recent unclaimed ticket in Arizona, the largest unclaimed prize in Arizona had been a $4 million jackpot back in 1999.
This begs the question, where do all these unclaimed millions go? The answer is, the state decides.
In Arizona, a lot of the money goes towards charitable programs involving children, while the rest is used to fund prizes for new games and second-chance drawings.
"These dollars will be utilized now to enhance our player's experiences with future games and fund a variety of beneficiaries that have a tremendous impact on our community," Edgar said to CNN.
Similarly, in 2018, EuroMillions bosses spent a lot of time searching for the mystery winner of a jackpot worth nearly $98 million.
"We're desperate to find this mystery ticket-holder and unite them with their winnings and we're urging everyone to try checking in the pockets of clothing, in wallets, bags, down the back of the sofa and anywhere a missing ticket could be hiding -- someone out there could literally be sitting on a fortune," Andy Carter, senior winners' adviser at the National Lottery, had said then, in a statement on the lottery company's website.
"We have the champagne on ice and our fingers crossed that the lucky winner comes forward to claim their win."