There are five unclaimed lottery tickets in Michigan, three of which hold a million-dollar prize with two expiring next month. Imagine having a potentially life-changing ticket without even knowing it.

Annually, lottery officials nationwide report that many players miss out on substantial prize winnings. They say this happens because they are either unaware of their victories or decide not to cash in their tickets, while others simply don’t bother to cash them in, thinking it’s not worth the hassle for smaller sums. Occasionally, players strategically delay claiming significant winning tickets, choosing to wait until the following year for tax considerations. But for larger prizes, jackpot winners most likely will show up.

Millions Unclaimed

In May of last year, a one-million-dollar ticket reached its expiration date. This winning Powerball ticket, drawn on May 5, 2021, was originally purchased at Warren Market on Mound Road in Warren. An entire year passed without anyone presenting the winning ticket, leading to its expiration at 4:45 p.m. on May 5, 2022. Nationally, each year, unclaimed funds amount to billions of dollars, with the largest share coming from multi-state games according to the Multi-State Lottery Association (MUSL).

What happens to unclaimed winnings?

A winning ticket usually expires 90 days to one year after the drawing date. When a lottery prize remains unclaimed, the money contributed by each participating state is returned to them. These funds are typically reinvested into the lottery fund to support future jackpots and other lottery activities. In states like California and Michigan, these unclaimed funds are directed toward supporting educational initiatives.

Moreover, a significant portion of the prize money goes toward paying retailer commissions for winning tickets, vendor fees, and supporting state programs.

It’s important to note that unclaimed winnings are distinct from cases with no winner. Unclaimed winnings occur when a lottery retailer has issued a winning ticket, but the ticket holder has not come forward to claim their prize. In situations with no winning ticket, the jackpot increases for the next drawing based on the total amount spent by players in the participating state.

Could you have an unclaimed ticket?

Before you go on about your day, it might be wise to check your coat pockets or your car’s glove box for any potential winning tickets from previous drawings. Take a look at Michigan Lottery’s five unclaimed prizes.

  • Powerball Sold in Redford

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    The winning Powerball ticket, which is set to expire at 4:45 p.m. on October 30, was purchased for the October 29, 2022, drawing at Billy’s Liquor Depot II in Redford. Despite nearly a year passing, no one has come forward with the winning ticket. The prize amount stands at $1,000,000, and the winning numbers for that drawing are 19-31-40-46-57 with Powerball 23.

  • Powerball in New Buffalo

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    Yet another Powerball-winning ticket, scheduled to expire at 4:45 p.m. on October 30, was purchased for the October 29, 2022, drawing at Shell #1725, a gas station located in New Buffalo, Berrien County. The winning ticket remains unclaimed with a prize worth $1,000,000. The winning combination for that particular drawing includes the numbers 19-31-40-46-57, with Powerball 23.

  • Lucky for Life in Charlotte

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    Mohamed Gabr/ Getty Images

    A $390,000 prize, stemming from the drawing on January 20, is set to expire on January 22, 2024, at 4:45 p.m. This particular winning ticket was bought at ABC Liquor in Charlotte. The winning combination for that drawing consists of the numbers 2-10-28-30-44, with the Lucky Ball being 13.

  • Mega Millions in Southfield

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    AndreyPopov/ Getty Images

    A $1,000,000 prize, stemming from the St. Patrick’s Day drawing, is slated to expire at 4:45 p.m. on March 18, 2024. Hopefully, the lucky ticket holder shows up to claim it. This winning ticket was purchased at CVS Pharmacy in Southfield. The winning numbers for that drawing are 26-28-29-39-49, with the Mega Ball being 25.

  • Fantasy 5 in Oxford

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    MrIncredible/ Getty Images

    Out of the remaining unclaimed tickets, this one holds the smallest prize, totaling $173,306. It stems from the March 28 drawing and has an expiration date of March 28, 2024, at 4:45 p.m. The ticket was bought at the BP gas station in Oxford. The winning combination for that drawing includes the numbers 4-27-29-32-33.

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