If nobody claims a lottery what happens to the money?

Assume a lottery drawing has been held and the lottery’s computers tell them that a winning ticket was sold. The pot disappears and the lottery starts again. If nobody claims that winning ticket what happens to the money? Does the state just pocket that money or does it roll back into the lottery system as part of a new jackpot?

Does the answer change if there are multiple winners? Say three people had the winning number but one of the three never claims the prize. I think (but am not positive) that a winner has 60 days to claim the jackpot. If that time passes does the 1/3 of the unclaimed money devolve to the other two winners or again does the state just pocket the money?

In New York State (and many others) a winner has one year to collect his/her winnings. After that, it goes back into the prize pool.

If two or more persons win and one fails to collect, the unclaimed portion goes back to the prize pool. It does not go to the other winners.

Zev Steinhardt

Thanks zev.

Does the money roll back into the pot in one lump or do they spread it out?

I’m just imaging a situation like the recent $300 million Big Game jackpot. Assume for the sake of this thread that only one person had a winning ticket and that person never came forward (say the ticket was lost before the drawing). Now move forward one year and the Big Game jackpot is again at $300 million. Does that earlier $300 million just get dropped in potentially making a $600 million lottery?

[sub]For my money I think that’d be pretty amazing to see if it actually worked out that way.[/sub]

Funny you should ask, this just happened in the Megabucks Lottery.

In the UK, the money goes to the “good causes” that the lottery funds.