March 22, 2022

The Biggest Unclaimed Lottery Tickets

Aria Mitchell
Written byAria MitchellWriter
Researched byAishwarya NairResearcher

Lotteries have been here for decades now, with dozens of winners claiming big money prizes. But then, some big money wins have gone unclaimed for one reason or another. In this round-up, find out some of the biggest unclaimed lottery tickets in the history of lottos.

The Biggest Unclaimed Lottery Tickets

1. EuroMillions - £64 Million

EuroMillions is the biggest jackpot in the world, but unfortunately, one of the winners failed to claim their fortune. A player bought a ticket from a shop located in the Stevenage and Hitchin area in 2012. But even after several appeals, on lotto sites and even a billboard campaign, the ticket buyer has never come forward. 

This remains the biggest unclaimed lottery prize, and the big question is, does the ticket buyer know that they have the winning ticket or it was misplaced? All said and done, the ticket expired, and the money was spent on charity. Interestingly, this jackpot was won by two tickets. Fortunately, the second ticket owner claimed their prize.

2. Powerball - $77 Million

The second biggest unclaimed lottery prize involves Powerball, one of the biggest lotteries in the United States. A ticket purchased in Georgia at a Tallapoosa truck stop won $77 million in a 2011 draw. Unfortunately, after 180 days, no one came to claim the prize, so the money went back to the participating states. 

So, where did the buyer go? Did they know they had won, or it's another case of ticket misplacement? Did the winner lose their ticket in the small town with a southern charm, or it's still hidden somewhere? No one knows!

3. Mega Millions - $68 Million

Third, in this list is the case of a ticket buyer from New York. The unknown winner purchased a Mega Millions ticket in New York for a 2002 draw. Even though Fritzner Bechette came claiming the prize after the ticket's expiry, his reason for not claiming the prize was flimsy. Whether it was true or false, the lesson remains, don't lose a lottery ticket. 

After a long tug of war in the courtrooms, it came out that Fritzner Bechette was a fraud. Officials didn't find a ticket that matched his description, so he ended up with nothing. The actual winner might still be out there, not knowing they would have been a millionaire two decades ago.

4. SuperLotto Plus - $63 Million

Another bizarre case of an unclaimed lottery happened recently in 2016 when a SuperLotto ticket bought in California scooped a cool $63 million.

After the 180-days expiry, another fraud, Brandy Milliner, came out guns blazing that he was the actual winner of the lotto and even presented a ticket. Upon submitting his ticket, he even received a congratulatory message. But the truth came out after deep scrutiny. He wasn't the legitimate winner as his ticket never matched the winning ticket!

5. Powerball - $51.7 Million

At number five in this list of the biggest unclaimed lotteries is a Powerball lottery ticket purchased in Indiana back in 2002. Worth $103 million, the jackpot wasn't claimed by the second winner though the other winner claimed their share amounting to $51.7 million. Even after airing commercials, the ticket finally expired, and one lucky player from Indiana was unlucky!

Wrapping up

The above are the biggest unclaimed lottery tickets in the history of lottos. Another worthy mention is a Mega Millions ticket worth $46 million, bought in New York in 2006. So, what's the big lesson from this round-up - never lose a lottery ticket and, importantly, never miss the draw. 

Interestingly, some lucky players missed the draw but still beat the ticket's expiry date. For example, the legitimate ticket buyer claimed the $369.9 million Powerball lottery prize, but after, it went unclaimed for quite some time.

About the author
Aria Mitchell
Aria Mitchell

From Rotorua's scenic landscapes, Aria Mitchell shines as New Zealand's leading expert in localizing online casino content. Marrying Kiwi essence with global gaming insights, she's the name trusted nationwide.

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