Iowa Lottery Vice President Mary Neubauer says there are between 1.2 and 1.5 million dollars worth of tickets that expire in Iowa each year without the prize being claimed.

There are multiple very good reasons why a lottery winner might take their time in claiming their winnings. After recovering from the initial shock, it could be you need time to breathe and get your legal and financial affairs in order before long-lost friends and relatives suddenly start to come out of the woodwork. Maybe the person just misplaced the ticket (wouldn't that be a bummer?)

I can't imagine why, but some may even just be out for the thrill of the chance and will leave the money behind even if they win. For better or worse, it can certainly be life-changing.

Whatever the reason for letting it go unclaimed, Radio Iowa says Iowa is one of 14 states to allow a 365-day grace period for winners to step forward and redeem their prize. It turns out, we are about to join 33 others in lowering that to a 180-day deadline.

The Iowa Lottery Board approved the change after noticing an upswing in longer amounts of time it was taking prizes to be claimed.

As we told you in a previous story, there is currently a Mega Millions ticket out there in central Iowa that is worth $1 million, yet has gone unclaimed for nearly three months. With no firm date announced, the new rule is expected to go into effect during Q1 of 2023. With that in mind, the clock is ticking on the person who has that ticket, which was purchased in Ames.

The games this change will affect include Powerball, Mega Millions, Lucky for Life, and Lotto America.

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