what happens if no one claims the powerball
Tips & Tricks

What Happens If No One Claims the Powerball?

The answer is that it varies by state.

With Powerball on the rise, folks across the country getting in on the fun and dreaming about the possibility of winning big. And when those lucky numbers are announced, it'll be exciting to see someone come forward to claim their winnings.

But what happens if no one claims the Powerball prize? You might think, how could someone not claim what they’ve won, but it does happen. And it happens enough that states have rules about what happens to the prize money if it goes unclaimed after a certain period of time.

⚡️ Feeling inspired? Get in the game on Jackpocket lottery app for mobile or desktop.

How long do Powerball winners have to claim their winnings?

powerball winner
"It really hasn't really set in yet" - Joseph W., a winner of a cool $1 million after ordering Powerball tickets with Jackpocket.

The big question of the day is how long do you have to claim Powerball winnings? The answer is that it varies by state. Lottery lovers have anywhere from 90 days to one year to claim their prize, but it depends on the jurisdiction in which the ticket was ordered. 

Your ticket may have an expiration date on the back, so don’t forget to give that a look! If not, check out the lottery website for the state where you got your ticket  for more information on how long you have to claim your prize.

If the prize isn’t claimed within the allotted time, you forfeit the prize money. If you don’t claim the Powerball prize in time, the state determines what happens with that money.

Where to claim your winnings varies by the amount won. If you win less than the threshold for your state, you can claim your winnings with any lottery retailer to claim your prize. If you ordered your ticket on Jackpocket, we will automatically credit your account with the amount won. You can use the funds to play again or transfer your winnings to your bank account.

The thresholds in each Jackpocket state are:

  • Arizona - $599.99

  • Arkansas - $500

  • Colorado - $599.99

  • Idaho - $599.99

  • Massachusetts - $600

  • Minnesota - $599.99

  • Montana - $599.99

  • Nebraska - $499.99

  • New Hampshire - $599.99

  • New Jersey - $599.99

  • New Mexico - $600

  • New York - $600

  • Ohio – $599.99

  • Oregon - $600

  • Puerto Rico - $1,200

  • Texas - $599.99

  • Washington D.C. - $600

  • West Virginia - $600

If your winnings exceed the threshold in the state where you got your ticket, you will need to visit a lottery office or the lottery headquarters in the state where the lottery ticket was ordered.

play powerball online
Jackpocket lottery app is available in 18 states and counting.

What happens when the winner doesn't claim a Powerball prize?

You might think the prize goes back into the game to increase the prize for someone else, or there might be a second chance drawing to pick a new winner, but that isn’t the case.

The prize money is funneled back into the state. When you order a lottery ticket, a portion of your ticket cost goes to fund various programs in your state. What programs are funded depends upon the state in which you got your ticket and the programs they have chosen to fund with lottery proceeds. The same may or may not go for unclaimed prize money.

Many states use these proceeds to fund programs such as education, public parks, people experiencing homelessness, or veteran services, just to name a few. You can learn more about what programs your state lottery supports by visiting your state lottery website. The website will have information on where the cost of your lottery ticket goes or related beneficiaries. 

where the poweball money goes
Where does the money go? States use lottery proceeds to fund programs such as education, public parks, veteran services, and more.

When it comes to Powerball, the unclaimed prize money is distributed based on the percentage of tickets sold in each state for the lottery run. Let’s say that the Powerball continues to roll over until the prize hits $1 billion and a winning ticket is drawn. Now, let's say the $1 billion prize isn’t claimed by the deadline. In this case, every state that has sold Powerball tickets has sold a portion of the total number of tickets sold, and they receive a percentage of the unclaimed prize money based on their ticket sales percentage. If a state (such as California) has sold 20% of the total ticket sales, it will receive 20% of the unclaimed prize money. This equates to about $200 million in unclaimed prize money that goes back to the state. 


Can I order a ticket in one state if I live in another state?

Yes! You can visit another state and play their state lottery by visiting a local lottery retailer. If you order your ticket using the Jackpocket app, you can play in another Jackpocket state so long as you are physically located in the state when you place your order. Example: You live in New York but order your ticket on your lunch break in New Jersey!

Just remember, if you win a prize above the state threshold, plan on making another trip to that state to claim your prize.

Can Powerball winners remain anonymous?

That depends. Each state has its own rules around whether winners can claim their prize anonymously. This information is available on your state lottery website. 

Why do some lottery prizes go unclaimed?

Unfortunately, some people lose or forget to check their tickets or even misread their ticket, and it happens more often than you think! 

Can I participate in the Powerball online?

Want to get notified if you win? Order your tickets online using Jackpocket, an easy way to join the lottery fun. Plus, we'll let you know automatically if you win a prize at any prize level. 

Jackpocket is available in 18 states. Order your ticket right on the app and receive an email with all the details of your order, including your ticket serial number. You’ll then be able to view a front-and-back scan of your physical ticket in the app. And more importantly, your physical ticket is securely stored in a fireproof safe. 

Grab your Powerball ticket using Jackpocket now.

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