Archive for Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Unclaimed prizes in Kansas Lottery games total more than $1.3 million

March 21, 2007

If you've got an old lottery ticket sitting around, it may be time you brought it in and checked out if it's a winner.

About $1.3 million in lottery prizes are just waiting to be claimed and will be forfeited this year alone, the Kansas Lottery estimates.

There's even a single ticket out there worth $200,000. Sold in the south central region of Kansas, that Powerball ticket matched all five white numbers, but missed the Powerball. The numbers in that drawing were 2, 21, 27, 35, 55 and a Powerball of 1.

Sally Lunsford, director of communications for the Kansas Lottery, said prizes could be claimed up to either six months or one year after the game concludes or the drawing is conducted, depending on the specific contest.

After that, unclaimed money goes back to the prize fund, Lunsford said.

The lottery in 2006 distributed $130 million in prizes. Lunsford says the estimate is that about 1 percent of prizes go unclaimed in all types of games.

About $6,000 in prizes will expire by the end of the month.

"The majority of those prizes are free tickets or low-tier prizes," Lunsford said.

According to a list of prizes maintained on the lottery Web site, about $400,000 in prizes from online games -- games with tickets purchased at lottery terminals, like Powerball -- are waiting to be claimed. Of that total, about $50,000 are from tickets sold in the northeast Kansas region that includes Tonganoxie and Leaven-worth.

The Kansas Lottery has a policy not to identify where tickets were sold any more locally than by region in an effort to combat fraud, Lunsford said.

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