Sunday, 21 January, 2018

Why billions of dollars in lottery prizes go unclaimed

Someone in Louisville won $50,000 in Wednesday's Powerball drawing Someone in Louisville won $50,000 in Wednesday's Powerball drawing
Erik Tate | 08 January, 2018, 03:34

Then there's the Powerball jackpot, which reached $570 million on Friday, the sixth-highest ever.

As the jackpots for the Mega Millions and Powerball grow, so do the ticket sales, which means more funding for education.

The top prize for Friday night's Mega Millions drawing is worth $450 million. If someone wins, it would be the fourth biggest Mega Millions jackpot and the 12th largest in US lottery history. The next drawing will take place Friday.

Although my office has played some of the bigger lotteries in the past, I've opted out. The cash option is worth an estimated $358.5 million.

In Pennsylvania, tickets for both games are sold until 9:59 p.m. on drawing nights.

The odds of picking all six Powerball numbers correctly is about one in 292 million.

Both lottery games now offer prizes of $400 million or more at the same time.

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This is good news for people bored of gaming gems like Mario Odyssey and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild . Kirby Star Allies , Metroid Prime 4, Shin Megami Tensei , and the untitled Yoshi game are popular contenders.

Meanwhile, the next Powerball drawing is Saturday. One worker had two shares in the pool and received about $12.6 million.

Or if you're one of those people who do better with percentages: You have a 0.0000000000000011 percent chance of winning both games.

Those unclaimed prizes range from $31 million for a ticket purchased in Queens, New York in August of 2006, to $77 million for a winning ticket purchased in Georgia in June 2011.

Tickets can be purchased at more than 11,000 retailers in the state and can also be bought online on the state's lottery website.

Whether this year's tinkering with the Mega Millions formula will bring more sales in NY remains to be seen. Aid to education was $3.3 billion, down $33 million from the previous year.

The game, redesigned last fall, now offers more jackpots and small prizes. Lottery earnings make up about 14 percent of New York's $23 billion school-aid pot of money. The cash option is valued at $281 million.

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