Hundreds and hundreds of millions go unclaimed in lottery winnings from around the country

The odds aren’t ever in your favor  to win a massive jackpot like the recent $636 million Mega Millions game.
 
But what are the odds you’d hit it big and not claim your prize?

Happens more than you'd think.
 
While a relative handful of people woke up wealthier today—two ticket-holders now fabulously well-to-do —after the latest Mega Millions jackpot drawing, there are still hundreds of millions won but unclaimed in state lotteries around the country.
 
Just this August, NewsChannel5 reported some lucky Ohio winner hadn’t retrieved their $1 million Powerball prize from March 23.
 
These things have an expiration date too.
 
In New York, winners will lose out on more than $48 million if they don’t claim their prizes soon. 
 
California has another $22 million unclaimed, but according to CNN Money , that’s just a fraction of the $800 million from around the country that haven’t been collected yet. (And that’s just 2 percent of the money awarded.)
 
More than $16 million awaits winning ticket-holders in Ohio, a spokeswoman for the Ohio Lottery told NBC News
 
It’s not just the big multi-state games either. There are potential scratch-off millionaires among us. That includes several uncollected paydays for $50,000-, $100,000- and $250,000-a-year, up to 20 years. 
 
Not to mention the scratch-offs for thousands of dollars or less. (You can check here to see for yourself.)
 
Over the last decade, the Columbus Dispatch says $269.2 million in Ohio’s winning lottery prizes have gone unclaimed.
 
So what happens to all that money?
 
In Ohio, where more than $17 billion has been funneled into education since 1974, unclaimed winnings go into the lottery’s fund for schools.
 
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