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Aussies missing out on $16 million in unclaimed prize money

The biggest unclaimed prize is worth $4.8 million.

Unclaimed prize money
Almost $16 million in prize money is waiting to be claimed. (Source: The Lott)

Do you hang on to your old lotto tickets? Well, now could be a good time to check your wallet, with almost $16 million in lottery prize money currently unclaimed.

There are currently 21 unclaimed division one and major lottery prizes across Australia, according to The Lott, with 10 winners in New South Wales, eight in Queensland, two in the ACT and one in Victoria.

The biggest unclaimed amount is a Set for Life prize of $4.8 million, won back in April 2021 from a ticket sold at the Governor Macquarie Drive Newsagency in Chipping North.

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One of the most recent unclaimed prizes was a TattsLotto prize of more than $775,000, won from a ticket sold earlier this month at Mernda Lucky Charm in Victoria.

The Lott urged Aussies to keep an eye out for any unchecked lottery tickets and said people had found their winning tickets in all sorts of places, including old shopping bags, the fridge door, car consoles and wallets.

One man was cleaning out his car and found an old lottery ticket in a reusable shopping bag. After checking it, he realised he had won $1 million a year earlier.

The winning tickets are all unregistered, meaning they aren’t connected to a player card or online account. You can check your lotto ticket by entering your ticket number on The Lott website.

The Lott unclaimed money
Do you have a winning lotto ticket? (Source: The Lott)

When can you claim?

If you’re one of the lucky winners, there is a time limit that applies for claiming your prize. This varies from state to state.

In New South Wales, Queensland and the ACT, it is six years. In Victoria, people only have 12 months to claim their winnings directly from The Lott. After this, the money goes to the Victorian State Revenue Office and winners need to go through a process to claim it from the government.

If no one has claimed the prize after the end of the claim period, the winnings either go to the government, the community via donations or back to players through bonus drawers.

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