Why Billions Of Dollars In Lottery Prizes Go Unclaimed

Delaware Public Media

Delaware Public Media

The odds of a single ticket hitting all six numbers in the Powerball are 292 million to 1, according to the Multi-State Lottery Association. Folks are very excited.

The Mega Millions jackpot has risen up to $450 million while the Powerball is now at a whopping $570 million.

"Sales are definitely higher, and we've seen this in the past when jackpots start ticking up sales definitely tick up as well and that's exciting for everybody", said Cindy Polzin with the Wisconsin Lottery.

Van Denton, spokesman for the N.C. Education Lottery, said big jackpots for the two games tend to see-saw.

Another customer, Tom Newman, who said he would spend the money on his family and travelling around the world, admitted he wasn't feeling optimistic: "Like absolutely zero chance, but a tiny bit more than zero, so that's why I bothered wasting the money".


The Mega Millions and Powerball jackpots now total more than $950 million combined. "You can't win if you don't play", said Powerball ticket buyer, Tim Ray. "Obviously the tax would take quite a bit of it, but the rest of it, I would give away to charity", echoed Travers.

You'd be surprised how many winning tickets are never turned in. "'I won?! No! I didn't!' Of course there would be a jubilation".

"A lot of people don't realize how much the lottery has contributed to scholarships in Arkansas but it's really really significant", she said. "And we've got this special $5 bundle - the "5 buck bundle.' If you go in and ask for a '5 buck bundle", you get one of all three ticket, the NSJ ticket being free".

"We have at least 11 Powerball Millionaires in Arkansas". $177 million with Mega Millions.

Last time someone won the Mega Millions jackpot was October 13 and the Powerball last saw a victor October 25. The odds of winning both are one in 75.6 quadrillion.

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