PA Senior Citizens The Real Winners Of Unclaimed $1 Million Powerball Ticket

Written By Grant Lucas on July 9, 2018
old man and old woman dolls on swing

In one of the worst bad beats imaginable, a $1 million Powerball lottery ticket in Pennsylvania has gone unclaimed. The one-year grace period on the ticket expired on June 23, so the winnings will not be disbursed.

To the ticket winner that is. That purse, however, still has a recipient.

Gary Miller, director of public relations for the Pennsylvania Lottery, said via email Monday that, by law, “unclaimed prizes remain in the Lottery Fund and are used to pay for benefits for older Pennsylvanians.

“Even when a player misses out on a prize, older Pennsylvanians still win.”

Near-perfect Powerball pick goes unclaimed

One missed number on the ticket left the holder missing out on a $92 million jackpot – a bit of a depressing moment in itself. Yet with the first five ball matching (10-22-32-36-58), the ticket’s owner qualified for the $1 million prize.

According to PA Lottery archives, it was the only ticket to qualify for the $1 million winnings.

Miller said it was unfortunate for the prize to not be awarded to the winner.

“We do want our players to claim every prize that they’ve won,” he said. “After all, that’s the point of playing our games.”

Some states, Miller noted, allow between 90 and 180 days to claim prizes. The Keystone State, however, provides a year for winners to do so. Miller referred to the Powerball FAQ section when it comes to unclaimed winnings.

What happens to unclaimed prizes?

Unclaimed prizes are kept by the lottery jurisdiction. If a Grand Prize goes unclaimed, the money must be returned to all lotteries in proportion to their sales for the draw run. The lotteries then distribute the money, based on their own jurisdiction’s laws, to other lottery games or to their jurisdiction’s general fund, or otherwise as required by law.

No winner, but there is still a winner

Redeeming winning lottery tickets have become easier than ever in Pennsylvania.

Thanks to the PA Lottery app, ticketholders can scan tickets via their mobile devices to claim any winnings. After this $1 million prize went uncollected, Miller urged players to take advantage of the app.

“We remind players to check every ticket, every time, using our official mobile app or with a ticket scanner at a Lottery retailer.”

Fortunately, the purse will not go completely unclaimed. Proceeds for the PA Lottery have gone to programs assisting elderly residents in Pennsylvania. In this case, the full $1 million will go to the state’s Lottery Fund and be used in that program.

“We do want every player to claim every prize, so it is disappointing when they miss out on claiming a win,” Miller said. “The majority of unclaimed prizes are smaller in size; only very rarely do large prizes expire. On the bright side, older Pennsylvanians still win through additional support for Lottery-funded senior benefit programs.”

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Grant Lucas

Grant Lucas is a longtime sportswriter who has covered the high school, collegiate, and professional levels. A graduate of Linfield College in McMinnville, Grant has covered games and written features and columns surrounding prep sports, Linfield, and Oregon State athletics and the Portland Trail Blazers throughout his career.

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