Unclaimed lottery wins seem too good to be true! Lottery players find it unimaginable that there exists a large amount of unclaimed lottery wins throughout the country. Most of the Lotteries have very practical programs which assist in educating people to claim their lottery wins in time
Lotteries publicize big unclaimed lottery prizes before they are about to expire. “We tell people: ‘Check your tickets! Hey, you never know,’ “says New York Lottery spokesman, John Charleson. This applies to both the regular as well as occasional buyers of lotteries. Unclaimed lottery cases are reported very frequently and many times hefty jackpots are unclaimed for a long time. Every year, scores of big jackpots are left unclaimed and the authorities have used all the measures of publicizing any unclaimed lottery so that the rightful owner picks up the prize money before the expiry date.
New York is one of the biggest, and one of the most vibrant, states economically. In terms of Lotteries, it is also considered one of the busiest and also where a lot of lottery winnings go unclaimed. Last year, more than $600 million in lottery fortunes went unclaimed in the United States, with the authorities still trying to locate the owners of these large value lottery tickets. Dawn Nettles, editor of The Lotto Report, a newsletter that covers lotteries, blames lottery practices for many of the> unclaimed prizes. “It’s so frustrating that I can hardly talk about it,” she says.
Computer scanning errors cost lottery players prizes, she says. A very glaring case of computer enabled lottery check was detected in Ohio in 2006. The computer failed to validate a $267 million winning ticket. Toledo tax attorney, Mark Mockensturm, who represented the winner, confirms the story. “The computer system at the lottery office in Cleveland didn’t read the encoded ink,” he says. The ticket was validated in other ways. “The size of the jackpot caused a hiccup in the computer program,” Ohio Lottery spokeswoman Marie Kilbane says. The software was fixed, and the ticket was paid. “All’s well,” she says.
According to a USA Today survey, almost half a billion dollars of unclaimed lottery money was reported last year. Minnesota reported the expiration of a $1.5 million lottery ticket in January while Oregon reported the expiration of $7.5 million lottery winning in June. Florida has announced that a $3 million worth lottery ticket is going to expire on Christmas Eve.
New York state treasury and Lottery department try to publicize as much information about the unclaimed jackpot as they could through the state treasury website. The New York State Comptroller’s website can be accessed at www.osc.state.ny.us. This website is update at regular intervals so that the most current list of unclaimed properties is online and which can be searched by anybody from anywhere. In addition to the various programs, state of New York also publishes an “Abandoned Property Supplement” of the New York State Register, which contains a list of> abandoned property. This supplement is published by New York State Department of State, 162 Washington Avenue, Albany, NY 12231.