More than $25 million in lottery winnings have gone unclaimed this year in Ohio, including a $1 million Powerball ticket sold locally that will expire soon.
Time is running out for the holder to collect on the $1 million Powerball lottery ticket purchased at the Speedway station on East Main Street in New Carlisle for the March 23 drawing.
The Ohio Lottery’s 180-day statute of limitations expires Sept. 19 on that card, which bears all of the winning numbers except the Powerball digit for that drawing. The numbers that make it worth $1 million are: 17-29-31-52-53.
“If no one turns in that ticket, it won’t be the first time something like this has happened. It is unusual,” said Danielle Frizzi-Babb, communications director for the Ohio Lottery, which has just announced plans to add a 13th game, the “Multi-State Millions” raffle.
About 2 percent of state winnings have not been collected so far this year.
Ohio Lottery Commission figures for fiscal year 2013 show that a total of $25.2 million in prizes went unclaimed. Total winnings were $1.67 billion. About $800 million in winnings go uncollected in the United States each year, according to the Multi-State Lottery Association.
“It’s possible the holder of that winner bought in New Carlisle is waiting to make a dramatic entrance at the last minute. It’s more likely that person bought it, stuck it in a cluttered compartment in the car, a junk drawer at home or put it in a pocket and forgot about it,” she said.
If the ticket isn’t cashed, the proceeds will go with other lottery proceeds to fund Ohio’s elementary, secondary, vocational and special education programs. That amounted to about $750 million in 2012.
The retailer who sold the ticket has already collected a $1,000 bonus for selling a winner.
“We’re doing everything we can by putting out reminders on this in case the person with that ticket might read or hear them,” Frizzi-Babb said. “We have no way of contacting them personally.”
The 180-day deadline countdown begins with the draw date in all draw games, but also from the announced closing date for instant games.
If the holder rediscovers the winning New Carlisle ticket in time, she or he needs to contact the Dayton (Region 3) office of the Ohio Lottery (800 589-6463), or bring it to the office at 7462 Webster St.
Frizzi-Babb said the current lottery interest level with the public is blase, because jackpots are nowhere near some recent near-record levels.
“Powerball is at about $142 million and Megamillions is at $78 million. If you ask me, it’s still a lot of money. So is $1 million.”
The Sept. 8 launch of of the Multi-State Millions Raffle, a split-the-pot-style game with two guaranteed $1 million-dollar prizes, may stir up attention. Ohio will join Oklahoma, Iowa, Indiana, Michigan, New Jersey and New York in the game. Cost per ticket will be $10.
For more information about any of the games or how to cash in winners, contact www.ohiolottery.com.