Iowa Lottery officials believe in second chances — at least for winning prize money that went unclaimed.
Over the past year, lottery officials issued repeated reminders to Powerball players to check their numbers to see if they won a $1 million prize in an April 2018 drawing on a ticket purchased at a store in Nevada in Central Iowa.
No one came forward to claim the prize by last week’s deadline. So the yearlong wait is over and lottery officials announced plans Monday for a spring promotion aimed at giving away the prize — marking the first time they believe a $1 million prize went unclaimed in the lottery’s 34-year history.
“Iowa law makes clear that unclaimed money from lottery prizes goes into our prize pools for future games and promotions,” said Iowa Lottery Chief Executive Officer Matt Strawn, “and that’s exactly what we’re doing with this one-time, $1 million giveaway.”
In an effort to ensure the unclaimed prize money makes its way to a new winner, Strawn announced that from May 29 through June 18 Iowa Lottery players will be able to enter a promotion called the “Woo Hoo A Million For You Giveaway” for a chance to win the prize.
Any Powerball ticket purchased in Iowa during that three-week period will be eligible for entry. The drawing for the promotion’s $1 million prize will be held June 19, he said. Details and the promotion’s rules will be available on the lottery’s website at www.ialottery.com.
When a jackpot prize in Powerball expires without being claimed, the money is returned to the states in the game in proportion to the percentage of sales that came from each state, Iowa officials noted. But because the $1 million prize that expired was at Powerball’s Match 5 level, the entire $1 million will remain in Iowa to be given away as a prize.
The $1 million prize was won in the Powerball drawing April 11, 2018, with a ticket purchased at Casey’s, 1800 S. B Ave., in Nevada. It came close to winning that night’s $89.7 million jackpot, matching the first five numbers but missing the Powerball. The winning numbers that night were: 16-18-27-55-67 and Powerball 18.
The winner or winners had until 4 p.m. April 11 to claim the $1 million prize at lottery headquarters in Clive.
Casey’s received a $1,000 bonus from the lottery for selling the ticket.
In fiscal 2018, more than $1.4 million in lottery prizes went unclaimed in Iowa.
Players in Iowa have up to 365 days from the date of the drawing to claim prizes in Powerball, Mega Millions, Lucky for Life and Lotto America. Players have up to 90 days from the date of the drawing to claim prizes in the Iowa Lottery’s Pick 3, Pick 4 and InstaPlay games. If the expiration date falls on a weekend or holiday when the lottery’s offices are closed, the winner has until the close of business on the next business day.
Since the lottery’s start in 1985, participating players have won more than $4.3 billion in prizes while the lottery has raised more than $1.9 billion for state programs.