Many have hit the jackpot by claiming back their unclaimed money. Much to the surprise of everybody, every year thousands of people benefit by way of claiming back their lost money or even lost lottery jackpots. Unclaimed money amounts can vary from hundreds to millions of dollars. In addition, unclaimed lottery winnings are also on the rise and it merits a mention that some hefty jackpots have also been claimed in the last couple of years.
Valuable unclaimed jewelries, antiques, and other valuable items have also been causing as another source of unclaimed money among Americans. If talking about large lottery tickets, the state of Illinois reported $14 million of unclaimed lottery winnings in the year 2005 alone, and Indiana reported almost $5 million in the same year. Between 2008 and 2009, Georgia reported almost $45 millions of unclaimed lottery money.
It makes valuable sense to investigate if any of your ancestors had any valuable family property or antiques that were left at the disposal of the state. These antiques or properties have a very high cost at the present moment, and it is worth a good try to investigate these lost items or properties. 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.
For lottery ticket claims, every state has its own time frame. In the east coast states like Connecticut, New York, and New Jersey, the claim period of 1 year is offered to its lottery players for claiming their prize money. Some other states have a validity time frame of three to six months.
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.
Most of the lotteries have an official regulation to publicize big unclaimed prizes before they expire. “We tell people: ‘Check your tickets! Hey, you never know,’ “New York Lottery spokesman John Charleson says. So, if you are a regular buyer of Lotto and other types of Lotteries, it makes sense to establish a simple check list for validating and monitoring the lottery numbers. Similar check list should be applied for any type of deposit, savings bonds, or any family property in case you have been unable to track it. There are a lot of U.S. residents who have found amazing value of lost properties which they had thought never existed.