How Quickly Must You Claim Lottery Prizes?

Thursday February 1st 2018

Millions of dollars go unclaimed across America every year as lottery players win prizes but do not come forward in time to collect the money. In some cases it may be that they lost their ticket or simply did not realize that they were a winner, but it could also be that they were unaware of how long they had to make a claim.

All prizes must be claimed in the state where the ticket was purchased, even for multi-state games such as Powerball and Mega Millions, and the claim period varies from location to location.

Shortest Claim Period

The state with the shortest claim period is New Mexico. If you win a prize in the Land of Enchantment, you have just 90 days to come forward.

Longest Claim Period

The longest claim period is one year from the date of the draw and applies to the following states: Delaware, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont.

The recent Powerball winner from New Hampshire, who pocketed €559.7 million on Saturday 6th January, therefore has lots of time to come forward. It seemed as though the winner might claim their money quite quickly when a New Hampshire Lottery spokesperson stated that a mystery caller had been in touch to ask about payment options for the big prize, but they did not leave a name and there has been no more word since.

Other States

The U.S. Virgin Islands classifies its claims period as six months, while for Maryland it is 182 days. In California, jackpot winners have one year to claim their money, while all other prizes must be claimed within six months.

All other states have a claims period of 180 days, including Georgia, where the hunt is on for the winner of a $1 million Mega Millions prize before it expires on Sunday 4th February. The winning ticket was purchased in West Point, at Summit Food Store, located at 1900 Highway 18, ahead of the drawing on Tuesday August 8th.

Go to your State Lottery page to find out more about how to claim prizes across America.

Big Jackpots

If you want to be in with a chance of claiming a lottery prize, you can play Mega Millions or Powerball this weekend to try and grab one of the big jackpots. Mega Millions is up to $104 million and the Powerball jackpot is worth $145 million. Pick up tickets from any authorized retailer or choose numbers online.

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