Some people find it hard to believe, but each year more than $1 million in Iowa Lottery prizes expire without being claimed.
This money goes into future prize pools, so it will be used to pay prizes, just not the particular prizes that have expired. For example the unclaimed Hot Lotto jackpot in 2010, which totaled nearly $10.8 million in cash, was returned to the lotteries in the Hot Lotto game in proportion to the sales from each jurisdiction. The Iowa Lottery received about $1.4 million back and gave the money away in a special summer promotion called “Mystery Millionaire” in 2012.
We keep a list of unclaimed prizes of $9,000 or more on our website and this list is updated daily. This page shows the game, amount won, retailer where the ticket was purchased, drawing when the prize was won and expiration date of the prize. Remember, there are deadlines to claim prizes in each of our lotto games. Powerball®, Mega Millions®, Hot Lotto® and All or Nothing tickets are valid for 365 days after the drawing in which the prize was won. Pick 3 and Pick 4 tickets are valid for 90 days after the drawing.
At the lottery, we do all we can to help spread the word about unclaimed prizes, from sending out news releases to the media, posting videos with expiring ticket details and putting up signs in the stores that sold the winning tickets to posting information and reminders about unclaimed prizes on our social media pages, as well as our website.
So if you have a lotto ticket still sitting around at home or folded up in your wallet, get it out and check it today! You may have a big prize waiting!