There have been several instances where Mega Millions prices have been unclaimed. Mega Millions sometimes extend the window for players to come forward to claim their winning prize. There is usually a given time of 12 months for winners to step forward to claim their winning tickers. Some player could have misplaced their ticket and other factors could have prevented a player to claim a winning ticket.
If for any reason after the expiration and extended period given for the inners to come forward and no one is available to claim it. Then according to the website of Mega Millions – “each participating state in the Mega Millions game will get back all the money that state contributed to the unclaimed jackpot.”
This was the result of what happened when a player won $1.5 Billion jackpot and no one was able to claim the winning ticket. It was a mystery that the winner could not be identified. The manager at the KC Mart in Simpsonville where the ticket was bought said this to CNBC.
But before the closing window of the expiration, the sole winner of this jackpot came forward to claim it. Winner also chose to stay anonymous. Publications and announcement of unclaimed prizes could help to create awareness such the winners could search for their tickets to claim their prizes.
Each state has their set priorities on what to do with unclaimed prize money. In the state of South Carolina, the unclaimed winnings are used significantly for education. Some other state also does the same such as Kansas, Texas and Maryland.
Wisconsin is an interesting state that uses the unclaimed winnings for property tax relief.
We can deduce that what happens to the unclaimed winnings varies from each state in the country. Players must have their winning ticket as it is the only proof they have to claim their prize. The rule to win unclaimed price is to produce the actual ticket otherwise it would be forfeited to the state.
More so, the unclaimed prize is also subjected to federal tax. The IRS would take about 24% in federal withholding tax from the prize.
A popular question usually asked is – Does the Mega Millions ticket expire?
Yes, the ticket expires and there is usually enough ample time for the wining to be claimed before the expiration date. 180 days have been allotted after this, the ticket will expire.
Losing a lottery ticket can be a reason a winner could not claim the prize while someone else could take the winning based on certain conditions. If a ticket has been lost and the player did not sign on it then anyone with the possession of such ticket can claim it but if it has been signed and found no one can claim the prize. The player who won the ticket must present the winning ticket or the prize will go to the state.
The mega million website has information of winners so if you are not sure or you missed out on the draw, find your ticket and visit the website to check your luck.