Big lotto jackpots always make it into the headlines. People often read about the winners who came out and claim their prizes. However, there’s another side to the story. According to the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation, there is millions of dollars’ worth of prize money left unclaimed in Canada alone. There are a number of winning players of Lottario and other lotto games operated by the OLG who have failed to claim their prizes. These include instant play tickets.
The OLG said that in its 2014/2015 fiscal year, more than $21 million of prizes expired before they are cashed in by the winners. However, it should be noted that the amount is just around one percent of the total $1.8 billion of lotto prizes won in the province during the same fiscal year. It shows that the vast majority of the prizes were claimed by winners of Lottario, Lotto Max, Lotto 6/49, and other OLG lotto games. It was in 2014 when the $50 million Lotto Max prize almost expired before the winner came forward to claim it.
The Claiming Deadline
According to the rules of the OLG, winners have a year after the draw to claim their prizes. Most of the time, it is just small amounts that were left unclaimed. Players who won major prizes often claim their prizes. That means all of the Lottario jackpots were claimed during the 2014/2015 fiscal year.
However, there are cases in which huge prizes were left unclaimed and expired. The last time it happened in Ontario was in 2004, when the $5 million prize for the Lotto 6/49 game was not claimed by anyone. And as a result, the money went back to the national fund because Lotto 6/49 was a cross-Canada draw. According to the OLG, the fund is used for promotions and future draws.
For Lottario, prizes that were unclaimed are returned to the provincial government. It is up to the provincial government to determine how they will use the money from unclaimed winnings. This rule is also applicable for other Ontario-only games and lotteries that include various scratch-and-win games.
It is not just in Ontario where lotto winnings were left unclaimed. The Atlantic Lottery Corporation said that around $2.4 million were not claimed by winners in Nova Scotia, Newfoundland, Prince Edward Island, and New Brunswick as for February of 2016. However, there were no huge jackpot worth millions left unclaimed. Most of the unclaimed winnings were between $1 and $100,000.
The ALC also said that the amount didn’t include unclaimed winnings from nationwide lotteries because those games were operated by the national body. The ALC didn’t have the data on how much national lotto winnings were not claimed.
If you play Lottario online, make sure that you check your tickets especially if you purchase Quick Picks. You might be the holder of a winning ticket without knowing about it. It is as easy as going to the retail store and scanning the ticket with the checker.
Do not become Unclaimed Winner, Check Lottario Results.