What Happens To Unclaimed Lottery Prizes In Iowa?
Not every lottery win in Iowa will be claimed, so what happens to that money?
We've had so many lottery wins in the QCA. In April, a Camanche woman won $50,000 on a scratch-off. Earlier this year, a Dubuque man set a record with a $40 million lottery win, and for one insanely lucky Bettendorf man, he won the lottery twice in one year. Most recently, a Clinton County man won $100,000. I can't imagine winning the lottery and not turning in my ticket for some bank. But often people can buy a scratch-off or a Powerball ticket and just leave it in their car and forget that they got it, and who knows, it could be a winner.
If you actually do have a winning ticket that you've paid zero attention to, luckily you have time to cash it in.
Iowa's Collection Deadline
According to Iowa Lottery's website, the time you have to claim your prize is contingent on the game. For Powerball, Mega Millions, Lotto America and Lucky for Life, the winning ticket is valid for a year after the drawing that won the prize. (Which, by the way, there's still an unclaimed $1 million Powerball winning in Ames that was bought in September so check your tickets, fam).
Pick 3 and Pick 4 tickets are valid through 90 days after the drawing, while InstaPlay prizes have to be claimed within 90 days of you buying the ticket.
Where The Unclaimed Money Goes
In Illinois, unclaimed lottery winnings filter into the lottery's education fund. For the Iowa Lottery, any lottery winnings that are unclaimed will roll over into another prize pool. Iowa law words it like this:
Unclaimed jackpot shares shall be added to future jackpot prize pools at times determined by the lottery
Iowa Lottery spokesperson Mary Neubauer told KCCI that it's about $1.2-$1.8 million total for the year that goes unclaimed.
But most of us are happy to roll into the Iowa Lottery's office with that winning ticket. Neubauer said that 97% of lottery winners come forward to claim their prizes within the first six months. As one should.