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Iowa Lottery Board Vote to Change Some Prize-Claim Periods

Effort Focuses On Prizes That Expire Without Being Claimed

CLIVE, Iowa — In an effort focused on prizes that expire without being claimed, the Iowa Lottery Board voted Tuesday to change the Iowa prize-claim period in four multi-state games: Powerball®, Mega Millions®, Lucky for Life® and Lotto America®.

This change will not take effect for some months. The lottery will need to successfully complete testing on its statewide gaming system before the change can be implemented. The lottery anticipates making the change in the first quarter of calendar year 2023 after providing notice to players.

The change has no monetary benefit to the Iowa Lottery: Under state law, the money from prizes that expire in Iowa without being claimed will continue to go back to players through the lottery's prize pools for future games and promotions.

In the past three fiscal years, the annual total in Iowa Lottery prizes that expired without being claimed ranged from about $1.3 million to more than $1.7 million.

Lottery staff recommended the prize-claim change after nearly a year of due diligence and research. The lottery's review of prize claims from a sampling of recent drawings in the four games found that the vast majority of claims occurred within six months of the drawing date. In fact, less than 3 percent of prizes from those drawings were claimed after 180 days.

Iowa is currently one of only 14 U.S. lotteries with a 365-day deadline for a player to claim a prize in a multi-state lotto game. By contrast, 33 lotteries (including the three most populous U.S. states) require those prizes to be claimed within 180 days or six months (182 days).

The passage of time could cause players to unintentionally throw away their tickets or for the tickets to become damaged or lost.

Time also is an important consideration from a security perspective. As time passes, it becomes more difficult for those involved to accurately recall the details of a ticket purchase and provide that information to the Iowa Lottery for verification purposes.

For comparison purposes, these are the prize-claim periods for other Iowa Lottery products, which will remain unchanged:

  • Tickets in Iowa-specific lotto games (Pick 3 and Pick 4) are valid for 90 days from the date of the drawing.
  • Tickets in scratch games are valid for 90 days after the announced end of the game.
  • Tickets in pull-tab games are valid for 90 days after the announced end of the game.
  • Tickets in InstaPlay games are valid for 90 days from the date of purchase.

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