Huge Powerball Jackpot from March Finally Claimed But Millions Remain
A huge $456,7 million jackpot was won by a single ticket holder in the March 17 Powerball draw, but when this amount still hadn’t been claimed weeks later, speculation began to mount and hopeful lottery fans began to search.
In the last week of April this ticket was finally claimed when a winner from Lancaster County, PA, came forward via a trust. It seems likely that the delay had something to do with their use of a trust, as it is possible they were deliberating over whether or not to go public with their win, before finally deciding to avoid the spotlight and claim in secret.
In doing so, and in opting for the lump-sum amount of $273 million, they were able to take home just under $200 million in taxes, ending the dreams of many searchers who had hoped they would stumble upon the ticket. But those treasure hunts need not be over yet, because there are millions of dollars worth of prizes stilt there waiting to be claimed.
Unclaimed Powerball Winners
Over the last 16 years, several major Powerball jackpots have gone unclaimed. The biggest of these was for $77 million in June 2011, but a $68 million ticket holder also failed to come forward in December 2002, while a $31 million ticket holder missed the cut in August 2006. These tickets were purchased in Georgia and New York respectively, but before you pack your bags and head for the Big Apple in search of those big tickets, the deadline for claiming these wins is long gone.
The deadline has also just passed for most of the 7 figure sums that went unclaimed in 2017, but there have been several big winners in 2018 that are also still awaiting claims. If you find one of these tickets then you have 180 days to claim it—the race is on.
Why Do Powerball Tickets go Unclaimed?
No one really knows why so many big Powerball wins go unclaimed, but it’s a trend that we see across all major lotteries. Many lotteries will make allowances for players who lost their tickets providing they can prove that they bought the winning ticket in the first place, so it seems unlikely that an unclaimed ticket would simply be the result of a lost or destroyed ticket.
The biggest reason millions of dollars of Powerball money goes unclaimed every year is because players simply don’t realize they have won, often because they don’t know that the Powerball pays out a small amount just for getting the Powerball number. Players are literally throwing away millions of dollars $4 at a time.
This wouldn’t be the case with the big wins though as you don’t need to be clued up on the rules of the game to know that landing a full ticket of numbers is going to net you a lot of money.
That leaves us with pure speculation as to why these prizes go unclaimed. It may be that they simply forgot they bought a ticket. After all, how many times have you bought a ticket on a whim, stuffed it in your glove compartment or back pocket and then forgotten about it? It may also be that the ticket holder died, fell seriously ill, suffered a major disaster or loss, and was otherwise too preoccupied with more important things to concern themselves with the outcome of a lottery ticket.
Whatever the reason, it results in a huge amount of money going unclaimed every single Powerball draw, adding up to several jackpot-sized amounts over the course of a year.