Kentucky Lottery Says Million-Dollar Powerball Ticket Expires Soon

Written By J.R. Duren on January 4, 2024
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Where’d the Powerball winner in Pendleton, Kentucky, go? That’s the million-dollar question.

The Kentucky Lottery recently announced that the winner of a $1 million Powerball ticket this past summer has until Jan. 12 to cash in the ticket, or the lottery will deposit the money in an unclaimed prize fund.

The million-dollar Powerball winner’s luck will run out soon

The Kentucky Lottery has a set of rules for winners that includes where to cash prizes and how long a player has to cash in the prize.

If a prize is $600 or less, players can get their winnings at the retailer where they bought the ticket or via direct deposit if they bought the ticket Kentucky Lottery online ticket.

However, those rules change for big prizes like the one that’s expiring in just a few days.

For prizes above $25,000, players have to take their ticket to the Kentucky Lottery headquarters in Louisville. The lottery will make an exception for those who can’t make it to Louisville.

In that case, players with prizes up to $99,998 can mail in their ticket along with a prize claim form and a copy of a valid government ID.

Because the winning Powerball ticket in question has a $1 million prize, the winner must submit the ticket in person in Louisville. And, the kicker: The winner has to do so within 180 days from when they won the prize.

Martin Luther King Jr. holiday shortens the deadline

What makes this particular ticket more interesting than other deadline-doomed winners is that 180 days from the date of purchase falls on a holiday—Martin Luther King Jr. Day—which means the lottery offices will be closed.

So, the winner has to bring the ticket in by the end of the day on the 12th, which is a Friday.

“We encourage everyone to go through those stacks of mail and think about when you bought the ticket and maybe and see if you’ve got it somewhere in your house,” Kentucky Lottery President Mary Harville said in a WLWT5 Cincinnati news story.

If ticket expires, Kentucky Education wins

If the ticket goes unclaimed it will be deposited into a fund that’s used for the Kentucky education system, according to lottery rules.

In general, the education system is the biggest benefactor of the lottery’s revenue, receiving 20% of ticket sales. The money goes to a pair of programs:

  1. Kentucky Educational Excellence Scholarships
  2. Kentucky Higher Education Assistance Authority

Both programs provide funding for Kentucky students who attend state colleges.

Money from that 20% and unclaimed tickets has raised nearly $5 billion for educational grants and scholarships since 1999.

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J.R. Duren

J.R. Duren has covered the gambling beats for more than a dozen states for Catena Media since 2015. His past reporting experience includes two years at the Villages Daily Sun, and he is a first-place winner at the Florida Press Club Excellence in Journalism Contest.

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