Check your lotto tickets! There's around $4.7 million in unclaimed prizes in Ontario
Check your lottery tickets, you might be sitting on a figurative gold mine.
There are currently 27 unclaimed lotto prizes worth roughly $4.7 million that are set to expire, according to the Ontario Lottery and Gaming’s website.
Winning tickets, including one Lotto Max ticket worth $1 million, have to be claimed in within a year of when they were drawn.
Each year, the lottery retailer said typically 99 per cent of prize money is eventually given out to winners. In fact, between 2018 to 2019, unclaimed prizes made up roughly one per cent ($24 million) of the total $2.38 billion paid out by OLG.
Just this past month, some unfortunate soul missed out on a hefty jackpot. A Lotto Max Maxmillions ticket worth approximately $500,000 expired on July 15.
It had been bought in Durham, Ont. on July 13, 2018 and now, that player is unable to collect -- even if they showed the winning ticket. So what happens to unclaimed prizes?
Unclaimed winnings from games solely operated by OLG, such as Lottario, will go back to the provincial government, as is required under the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation Act.
But if the tickets were part of the national draw, such as Lotto 6/49, unclaimed winnings are paid out to winners for future games.
OLG spokesperson Tony Bitonti said people buying tickets should check their tickets fairly soon after a draw. "Our best advice is – check you tickets as soon as the draw is complete – within 24 hours of the draw," he said in an emailed statement.