CLEVELAND (WJW) — Winning the lottery is a dream for many, so you may be surprised by how many winning tickets remain unclaimed.
According to the Ohio Lottery, more than $25.1 million in still-eligible Ohio Lottery prizes remained unclaimed through April 14.
That includes more than $14.2 million from draw games like Mega Millions, Power Ball, and Rolling Cash Five and about $10.9 million from scratch-off tickets sold from games now closed.
“That’s $25 million worth of prizes that our winners are missing out on, so obviously, we would love for them to claim those prizes,” Ohio Lottery Communications Director Danielle Frizzi-Babb said.
The lottery says most are small dollar winners, but not all.
In Northeast Ohio, a $110,000 prize from a winning Rolling Cash Five ticket sold in late February at Grafton Sparkle Market in Grafton remained unclaimed more than a month later.
So did a $36,667 Rolling Cash Five prize won at A Plus Quickmart in Northfield in early January.
“People will leave them in the glove box and find them after the expiration. They just lost them in general, they have no idea what happened to the ticket. Sometimes they just get thrown away,” Frizzi-Babb said of the reasons winners fail to claim prizes.
However, due to the coronavirus pandemic, winners are in luck and can still claim prizes won since last March.
The Ohio Lottery has waived its normal 180-day deadline to claim, meaning winning tickets are now valid until thirty days after Ohio’s COVID-19 state of emergency ends. No end date has yet been set.
“We don’t want people to forget about those,” Frizzi-Babb said. “We obviously want our winners to come forward and get their prizes.”
Prize money that is never claimed goes into the Lottery Profits Education Fund, which benefits Ohio schools.
Full details on how to claim a prize are available here.