The clock is ticking for a PA Lottery Powerball winner, who hit a $100,000 prize last year. Luck was on their side that day, but they might not even know it.
No one has come forward to claim the prize yet, and it’s set to expire soon. The ticket in question matched four of the five white balls drawn, 37-51-54-58-60, and the red Powerball 19 in the drawing on Sept. 20, 2021.
The winning ticket was sold at a Wawa store in Montgomery County. If you’ve purchased tickets at the store, located at 1015 Dekalb Pike in Center Square, it might pay to dig them up and check them.
The Powerball winner from last year will need to claim their prize by Tuesday, Sept. 20, 2022, when their time and luck will run out. In PA, winning draw game tickets expire one year after the drawing date. Fast Play and scratch-off tickets expire one year after the game’s end sale date.
A Powerball jackpot also remains unclaimed in PA
There have been no reports of the recent Powerball jackpot winner in PA claiming their prize yet, either. When the prize is that large (the PA winner hit $206.9 million), it is common for the winner to take some time to plan and consult experts before claiming their prize. In fact, the winner of the Jan. 5 jackpot in California this year didn’t come forward to claim their prize until May – more than four months after the drawing. The PA winner has until Aug. 3, 2023, to claim the jackpot.
It is rare for a major jackpot from a game like Powerball to go unclaimed, but it has happened. Most recently, in 2013, one winner’s share of the $50 million Powerball jackpot went unclaimed. Two tickets hit the jackpot on May 25 that year, and would have split the prize. One winner in Delaware claimed their half, but the second winning ticket, purchased in Florida, never materialized.
How to check your PA Lottery tickets
The PA Lottery often reminds players to “check every ticket every time,” and even offers a mobile app that allows players to check their own tickets. Yet, millions of dollars in prizes go unclaimed every year.
You can only get paid if you know you’ve won! Take your tickets to any PA Lottery retailer and they can check them for you. On scratch-offs, make sure to scratch off the “scratch to cash” area to reveal the ticket’s barcode. Some retailers offer self-serve terminals where you can check tickets yourself.
PA Lottery players who use the mobile app have two ways to learn if they’ve won a prize. First, the app’s ticket checker makes it easy to scan and check any PA Lottery ticket, regardless of where it was purchased.
Secondly, for tickets purchased online at the PA iLottery site or via the app, winners are notified automatically by email when they win a prize. Online prizes of $600 or less are paid automatically, making the process a breeze for online players.
Major lottery prizes require an extra step…or a day trip
For prizes over $600, PA Lottery winners have to fill out a claim form. With a claim form and a valid winning ticket, retailers can pay out prizes up to $2,500 by cash, check, or money order if they are able to.
You can also claim prizes by mail, directly with the lottery. Prizes larger than $2,500 must be claimed by mail or in person at an area PA Lottery office, and can only be paid by the lottery.
For the largest prizes, including a Powerball or Mega Millions jackpot, or any other annuity prize, a winner will have to make the trip to the PA Lottery’s headquarters in Middletown. Call first, because you’ll need to make an appointment.
What happens to the unclaimed lottery money?
Most unclaimed lottery prizes are minor wins, but all those $2 and $5 winners add up. The PA Lottery gives players a whole year to claim even the smallest prizes. But after a year, the unclaimed funds become part of the lottery’s profits. Unclaimed jackpot prizes from Powerball and Mega Millions are given back to participating state lotteries that contribute toward the prize.
In PA, lottery profits are used to support benefits and programs for senior citizens across the state. In the 2021-2022 fiscal year, the PA Lottery raised $1.2 billion in profit to benefit older Pennsylvanians. Unclaimed prizes are not a significant contributor to the lottery’s profits.
Photo by: Shutterstock