Illinois lottery ticket worth $1 million still not claimed

Beth Torres
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Somebody in Illinois is over a million dollars (before taxes) richer than they might even realize: an Illinois Lottery Lotto ticket, with a draw date of March 1, 2022, is worth $1,000,000.00. Time is running out for this windfall, however. According to the Illinois Lottery,

Mega Millions®, Powerball®, Lotto, Lucky Day Lotto® Pick 3, Pick 4, and Fast Play™ prizes must be claimed within one year from the drawing date.

Who is the new millionaire?

We don’t know. As of this writing, no one has claimed the prize. 

How many Illinois lottery prizes are unclaimed?

An amount that I find absolutely staggering! The Illinois Lottery lists unclaimed prizes by category. On the Unclaimed Instant Ticket Prizes page, under the “$20+ Games” column, the number of claimed and unclaimed prizes, along with amounts of each prize, are listed. 

By my calculations, with the help of a spreadsheet, this category alone comes to an astounding $311,156,425. That is almost a third of a BILLION dollars. Holy mackerel.

The good news is that you can still claim your money from a winning ticket as long as you file your claim form in time. The Illinois lottery has a page that lists the game expiration dates and the last day to file your claim form.

How would I claim a $1 million prize?

According to this helpful “When You Win” page, prizes over $10,000 must be claimed at a claim center or by mail. The video below, however, states that they require a trip to a claim center. Either way, it would be a “chore” that most of us would be glad to accept.

If I win a big prize, can I remain anonymous?

Yes, provided you indicate that choice when you claim your prize. According to the Illinois Lottery FAQ, this applies to prizes of $250,000 or greater.

“If your prize is $250,000 or greater, you may request to keep your name and municipality of residence confidential by indicating that choice on the Illinois Lottery Winner Claim Form. You must make this request at the time of claiming the prize.”

Are you surprised by the amount of unclaimed lottery winnings?

I sure am. We hear grim economic news daily, with record numbers of people struggling just to get by. At the same time, enormous amounts of cash are going unclaimed. 

Have you ever missed a winning lottery ticket or other prize? Leave a comment if you have a story to tell. Feel free to share this article with any absent-minded friends you may have! You might help someone avoid missing out on a prize.

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