Watch Out, Your Powerball Winnings Can Expire
Less than an hour after the winning numbers in the $1.5 billion Powerball jackpot were announced, a Chino Hills, CA convenience store claimed that it had sold a grand-prize-winning ticket. This means that someone, somewhere (most likely close to Chino Hills) is in possession of what I would unhesitatingly call one of Willy Wonka’s golden tickets. So how long does the Powerball winner have to claim the jackpot?
UPDATE: This post was originally published in January 2016. As of Aug. 23, 2017, the new Powerball jackpot has hit $700 million (and if there are no winners, it’ll go to $1 billion). The Powerball will be drawn at 10:59 p.m. EST.
EARLIER: The state of California actually has its own ticket expiration policy. The state’s lottery site says that a Powerball jackpot can be claimed for up to one year from the date of the draw. Of course, unless the holder of the grand prize ticket accidentally flushes the super-expensive piece of paper down the toilet in an instance of unbelievable calamity, it likely won’t take that long before the winner comes forward to claim the largest prize in lotto history.
It turns out that California was home to a whole slew of smaller, less-lucrative golden ticket winners, as well. The state had 12 tickets that matched five out of the six drawn numbers, which means prizes for a lucky dozen people of $1 million or $50,000, depending on whether the red Powerball number was one of the five.
Winners of smaller Powerball prizes don’t have as long as jackpot winners to claim their cash before their tickets expire, though. Players have 180 days from Wednesday’s draw to claim all prizes other than the jackpot вЂ” yes, $4 is a win too!
If Americans know nothing else вЂ” like who may have won a prize in any of the other 49 states вЂ” they sure know now that the West Coast is the best coast for stepping into a 7-Eleven for a Slurpie and stepping out with a $1.5 billion ticket in your pocket. Well, it might not be the best coast at this very moment, since you could very well get trampled while trying to get through the door.
While there’s no information at this point on the jackpot ticket holder, California is not among the states that guarantee lotto winners the right to complete anonymity. This means you’ll probably be hearing some sort of name, as long as the winner doesn’t do the unthinkable and neglect to actually claim the prize. If they are clever enough to go for semi-anonymity and create a blind trust before stepping up, though, then the listing could bear a title, like California Dreamin’ LLC, instead of a name.
The winner definitely shouldn’t take too much time coming up with a badass trust name. It’s time to make like that golden ticket is a gallon of milk close to spoiling, because that baby does expire.Less than an hour after the winning numbers in the $1.5 billion Powerball jackpot were announced, a Chino Hills, CA convenience store claimed that it had sold a grand-prize-winning ticket. This means that someone, somewhere (most likely close toвЂ¦
How to Claim Powerball Winnings
If you’ve won a Powerball prize, you might be wondering what to do next. On this page, you can find out how to claim your prize if you’ve played online or if you bought your ticket from an authorized retailer, as the claiming method differs between the two.
- Claim periods vary depending on the state you have played from. Please check the list of different states and claim periods below.
- It is not possible to purchase a ticket in one state and claim it in another.
- For information about state-specific game promotions, you should contact your state lottery.
- You should sign the back of your ticket as it will help you prove that you are its rightful owner in the event that it is lost or stolen.
All prizes will be paid directly into your lottery account. You should receive a notification or email that will tell you if you have won a prize. The details can also be viewed in your account, after your numbers have been checked against the results. You can then decide whether to withdraw the winnings or put them towards future entries.
Prizes from a retailer
How you claim your prize depends on how much you won and where you entered. Prizes can only be claimed in the state in which the winning ticket was bought. Smaller prizes can usually be claimed from lottery retailers, but if a store doesn’t have enough cash to pay you out, you may be referred to a different retailer or claim center.
Prize payouts less than $600 can normally be claimed from an authorized lottery retailer. Check with your local retailer for their store policies, as some stores may not carry enough cash for prizes of more than $100 or have guidelines about the amount of cash that is available to staff.
Winnings can also be claimed by mail. To claim your prize by mail, simply mail the ticket alongside some ID and a winner claim form, which is available from your local lottery office. Mail it to the address as provided by the state lottery office for your jurisdiction.
Payouts that are $600 or more can be claimed from a local district office, claim center or lottery headquarters.
Prizes can also be claimed by mail, with the address provided from your state lottery office. The maximum prize amount that can be claimed by mail varies from state to state. Check with your local lottery office for more information.
If youвЂ™ve won a jackpot prize, players are advised to contact the lottery headquarters for your jurisdiction and claim the prize in person.
Please note that information varies for each state. Always check with your state lottery.
How long do I have to claim my winnings?
The claim period for Powerball prizes differs by jurisdiction, and it can be anywhere from 90 days to a year. See the table below for the claim period in your state. If you do not come forward within this time the prize money will be redistributed according to the lotteryвЂ™s regulations. Some state lotteries also allow you to claim by mail, but you may need to download or obtain a claim form to mail along with your ticket.
|Jurisdiction||Claim Period||Claim By Mail?|
|Arizona||180 days||Any prize|
|Arkansas||180 days||Any prize|
|California||1 year for the jackpot prize, 180 days for all other prizes||Any prize|
|Colorado||180 days||Any prize|
|Connecticut||180 days||Less than $50,000|
|Delaware||1 year||Up to $599|
|Florida||180 days||Up to $250,000|
|Georgia||180 days||Any prize|
|Idaho||180 days||Any prize|
|Illinois||1 year||Less than $1 million|
|Indiana||180 days||Any prize|
|Iowa||1 year||Up to $250,000|
|Kansas||1 year||Any prize|
|Kentucky||180 days||Under $50,000|
|Louisiana||180 days||Up to $510,000|
|Maine||1 year||Any prize|
|Maryland||182 days||Any prize|
|Michigan||1 year||Any prize|
|Minnesota||1 year||Up to $50,000|
|Mississippi||180 days||Any prize|
|Missouri||180 days||Any prize|
|Montana||180 days||Any prize|
|Nebraska||180 days||Any prize|
|New Hampshire||1 year||Any prize|
|New Jersey||1 year||Any prize|
|New Mexico||90 days||Less than $100,000|
|New York||1 year||Any prize|
|North Carolina||180 days||Less than $100,000|
|North Dakota||180 days||Any prize|
|Oklahoma||180 days||Any prize|
|Oregon||1 year||Any prize|
|Pennsylvania||1 year||Any prize|
|Puerto Rico||180 days||Undisclosed|
|Rhode Island||1 year||Undisclosed|
|South Carolina||180 days||Over $500|
|South Dakota||180 days||Any prize|
|Tennessee||180 days||Less than $200,000|
|Texas||180 days||Up to $2.5 million|
|U.S. Virgin Islands||6 months||Any prize|
|Vermont||1 year||Any prize|
|Virginia||180 days||Any prize|
|Washington State||180 days||Any prize|
|Washington D.C.||180 days||Any prize|
|West Virginia||180 days||Any prize|
|Wisconsin||180 days||Up to $500,999|
|Wyoming||180 days||Any prize|
Where to claim
If you need to collect a prize of $600 or over then you must visit a local district office or lottery headquarters. Find your jurisdiction in the table below to see where your nearest claim center or lottery headquarters is located:
|Jurisdiction||$599 and Under||$600 and Over||Jackpot Winners|
|Arizona||Lottery Retailer||Phoenix office, 4740 E. University Dr., Phoenix, AZ 85034|
Some states announce prizes that have not yet been claimed. You can check to see if there are any unclaimed Powerball prizes in your state here.Find out how to claim Powerball winnings if youвЂ™ve won a prize online or bought a ticket at a local lottery retailer. ]]>