Pennsylvanians Routinely Fail to Claim Millions in Lottery Prizes

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Pennsylvania residents fail to claim an average of $17 million in lottery prize money each year, according to a staff report from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Last year the tally was relatively low, with $8.2 million uncollected in prizes. In 2021, however, Pennsylvanians left $20.5 million on the table. From 2012-2021, the unclaimed annual average was $17.8 million.

Most of the money comes from draw games, including Powerball, Mega Millions, and Cash4Life. Unlike scratch-off tickets, the Department of Revenue is able to identify when and where those winning tickets are sold.

The burden of claiming the prize is on the person who bought the ticket, but the state also does its own outreach to let the public know when there are some unclaimed funds, including through daily press releases for winning prizes worth $100,000 or more.

“We have heard from many players who have checked their winning tickets after seeing a story on their local television station or reading about it online, so this is one way that we can help players avoid missing out on a prize,” said Pennsylvania Lottery Press Secretary Ewa Swope.

Read more about the unclaimed money in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

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