Louisiana Lottery officials, and quite frankly quite of few of the rest of us, are scratching our heads this morning after a $50,000 prize-winning lottery ticket went unclaimed and was allowed to expire last week. Lottery officials say it's fairly common for players to not collect prizes, but usually, those who let their prize money slide have only won a couple of dollars. It's highly unusual for a big-money ticket to go without being claimed.

Taylor Deas Melesh via Unsplash.com
Taylor Deas Melesh via Unsplash.com

Can Lottery Prizes Expire?

The short answer is absolutely they can and do expire. According to the Louisiana Lottery website draw game prizes, such as Powerball, Mega Millions, Lotto, and Easy 5, expire after 180 days. Once the unclaimed prizes have surpassed their redemption period the money is transferred to the Lottery's unclaimed prize fund. This money is used to support increased payouts on instant win tickets, second chance drawings, and other lottery promotions.

According to reports the ticket matched four of the five white balls and the Powerball. That ticket was sold in St. Amant in Ascension Parish. The point of purchase was the Fisherman's One Stop on LA 22.

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A Lottery spokesperson told the Louisiana Radio Network that people do forget to check their lottery numbers, especially when there was not a big winner. But it is important to note almost all games like Powerball and Mega Millions offer multiple ways to win. So even if the ticket didn't win the jackpot it could still be worth a lot of money. Such is the case with the ticket we've just described.

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The Louisiana Lottery Currently Has over $1.5 Million in Unclaimed Big- Money Tickets

On the Unclaimed Prizes page of the Louisiana Lottery website, there are currently four Mega Millions tickets valued at over $5,000 that are unclaimed. Three of those are $10,000 winners. Those tickets were sold in New Orleans, Slidell, and Houma respectively.

There is also an unclaimed winner valued at $1,000,000, yeah, one million dollars, that has yet to be claimed from the June 18th drawing. That ticket was sold in West Monroe. The one million dollar winner has less than 140 days left to be claimed or its prize will go into the lottery's unclaimed prize fund.

Courtesy Louisiana Lottery
Courtesy Louisiana Lottery

The Powerball Lottery game has produced seven tickets that have yet to be claimed. Again these are only the tickets with prizes of $5,000 or more. There are five winning tickets valued at $50,000 from previous Powerball drawings. Those tickets were sold in Greenwood, Metairie, Grand Coteau, Baton Rouge, and Ponchatula. The Greenwood winner only has a little over 30 days to be claimed.

There are two other unclaimed Powerball winners according to the Louisiana Lottery. There is a $100,000 winner sold in Metairie that will expire in about two months and a $150,000 winner that was sold in Shreveport. That ticket has a little over 140 days to be claimed.

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What is Tonight's Powerball Jackpot?

Players who participate in tonight's, January 30th, Powerball drawing will have a chance to win $613 million dollars. That's how much the annuitized jackpot is for the drawing this evening. Should you win and opt for the lump sum payout, you'd get $329 million before taxes. After taxes, you'd get a lot less.

The Powerball multi-state lottery game has not produced a jackpot winner since November 19th of last year. So, it's been about 30 drawings since the game has produced a big ticket, needless to say, the game is ripe and ready to produce a winner.

Flying lottery balls
Oksana Kostyushko

As always we encourage you to play Powerball or any lottery game responsibly. Only spend what you can afford to lose. If you or someone you care about has an issue with gambling, help is available by calling 1-877-770- STOP (7867). Tonight's drawing will take place at 10 pm Louisiana time.

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