Powerball and Lotto jackpot winners have 365 days after the draw date to claim their prizes before they expire.
WHAT happens to the money from unclaimed Lotto or Powerball jackpots?
According to the National Lottery Ithuba, once a winning ticket expires and is still unclaimed, the funds are handed over to the National Lotteries Distribution Trust Fund for reallocation to good causes.
These questions were raised after Ithuba urged Lotto winners to check their tickets as a R20million Lotto ticket was set to expire in two months.
They say the winning ticket, worth R20,569,105 from the May 29, 2021, draw, was purchased in the Carletonville area in Gauteng.
This week, Ithuba clarified what happened to the money from unclaimed jackpots.
Lebogang Mokoena, Corporate Affairs Specialist at Ithuba, said: “A small portion by agreement with the National Lotteries Commission (NLC) is used to support guaranteed jackpots.
“Winners have 365 days after the draw date to claim their prizes before they expire.”
Mokoena said unclaimed prizes are monitored monthly.
“All prizes above R500,000 are reviewed if they still remain unclaimed six months after the draw.”
She said Ithuba undertook various methods in their search for winners.
“We advertise the unclaimed prizes in the store where the ticket was sold, and we also advertise in the local vicinity and region.”
Mokoena said it is also advertised nationally on social media platforms and the draw shows.
“We issue a media statement as well.”
Mokoena said there had been many cases of winners coming forward to claim their prizes several months after the draw date.
“We have also observed that there are also some players that prefer to keep their tickets for up to a year and present them for claiming towards the holidays.
“However, we do not recommend that players do this as they run the risk of losing tickets or tickets expiring before they claim.”
She said online players that use the National Lottery website, mobile apps or banking apps, have their winning amounts of less than R50,000 automatically paid into their e-wallets and bank accounts.
“They are also notified directly of any larger winnings and can visit their nearest Ithuba office to claim their larger prize.”