The country’s hottest lottery jackpot games have been on fire lately, crowning big-time winners across many states on the way to awarding the main prizes. A West Virginia Lottery Powerball player hit a big win recently worth $1 million, on the same night a California ticket won the $1 billion jackpot.
As of now, the holder of that winning WV ticket hasn’t claimed the prize.
The sizable jackpots from lottery draw games haven’t slowed down at all, with the current Mega Millions also making headlines. The drawing for Tuesday, Aug. 8, is now valued at an estimated $1.58 billion, the largest in the game’s history.
West Virginia Lottery player connects on $1 million Powerball ticket
Sold in the small town of Petersburg in Grant County, one Powerball ticket hit for $1 million on July 19. The winning ticket matched the first five white balls, 7-10-11-13-24, but not the red Powerball, which was 24.
The Petersburg winning ticket was sold at Hartman’s Gas & Go on Keyser Avenue. In addition, a $50,000 winner was sold in Shinnston, at Shinnston Price Cutter on Pike Street the same night.
In the same drawing, 36 players in 17 states also won prizes of $1 million or more. This included three winners of $2 million, who bought their tickets with Power Play.
How long do WV Lottery winners have to claim their prize money?
The winners have a limited time to claim the money. In West Virginia, lottery winners have just 180 days from the drawing date to claim prizes won on draw games like Powerball and Mega Millions.
Big prizes are never claimed immediately, as the winners usually take some time to make a plan for managing or investing the new money. WV’s newest millionaire will be smart to find a reputable financial advisor to best manage accepting the windfall.
West Virginians will be excited to see who the big winner is, but those of $1 million or more can choose to remain anonymous in the state.
Mega Millions just awarded its highest jackpot ever at $1.58 billion
Less than two weeks after Powerball got its recent $1 billion winner, the Mega Millions jackpot also broke into $1 billion territory. It continued to climb, and culminated in a record $1.58 billion jackpot win on Tuesday, Aug. 8, for a ticket in Florida. That prize now ranks as the third-largest lottery jackpot in US history.
In Tuesday’s drawing, yet another WV player hit a $1 million prize on that game. The WV winner joins six other players who won $1 million or more that night, with tickets sold in California, Florida, Pennsylvania, South Carolina and Texas.
Mega Millions tickets are sold in West Virginia for $2 a play, with the optional Megaplier for an additional $1. The Megaplier will multiply any prize other than the jackpot by up to 5x, depending on the multiplier selected before each drawing.
WV players can also choose to play for Just the Jackpot. This option allows two plays for $3, but offers no lower-tier prizes.
Many lottery prizes have gone unclaimed in West Virginia
Across the US, millions of dollars in lottery prizes go unclaimed every year. Most of the unclaimed prizes are only a few dollars, but sometimes large prizes like the $1 million won in West Virginia are never called for. There have even been a few Mega Millions and Powerball jackpots that were never claimed.
Among the reasons for unclaimed prizes are lost tickets and tickets that get accidentally thrown out or destroyed. But another reason is that some people don’t check their tickets after they hear there was no jackpot winner, or the winner was in another state. This likely leads to the occasional player tossing out their second-tier winning ticket.
Of course, you should always check your tickets because there are nine prize tiers on Powerball and Mega Millions. While the prize we all hope for is the huge jackpot, several of the prize tiers pay significant amounts of money.
Mega Millions prize tiers
- $1 million
What happens to unclaimed WV Lottery prizes?
According to Powerball and Mega Millions, unclaimed prize money stays with the lottery in the state or jurisdiction where it was won. Lottery profits are used to fund beneficial programs, like education and senior services in WV.
WV law dictates that unclaimed prize money goes toward new prizes for second-chance drawings, additional game prizes and other lottery promotions. Some of the money also goes to pay a portion of the commissions that lottery retailers receive for selling tickets.