There was over $2 billion of unclaimed lotto money in 2013 according to a new report. Brett Jacobson was doing research for his new smartphone app which alerts people when they have won the lottery when he asked just how much money goes unclaimed each year. According to CNN Money, $2.04 billion went unclaimed last year according to lottery commissions around the country.
“Most of the winning tickets are worth only a couple of bucks, maybe $50 or $100 each. Many are $2 or $4 winners. But there are plenty of tickets worth thousands, even $1 million or more that never are turned in. And Jacobson says that the annual total is likely to only grow larger,” reports CNN Money.
The $2 billion in unclaimed lotto money is mostly a result of people just forgetting that they purchased a lottery ticket. The ticket is likely sitting on top of someone’s car visor… or perhaps it made its way into the junk drawer… or even the trash. Since most people don’t actually think that they are going to win the lottery, many easily forget their tickets and don’t think twice about checking their numbers, even though they made a cautious decision to purchase the ticket(s) to begin with.
According to AOL, Mr. Jacobson was inspired by the unclaimed lottery money. He wanted to create an app that would remind people about their lottery tickets… and the way it works is pretty simple. After you purchase a lottery ticket, you take a photo of it using the app. Then, the app does the rest of the work for you (“work” entails watching lottery numbers on a television, but some people just don’t have time for that). The app sends you an alert if you’ve won money on your ticket(s), which will work if you’ve won $1 or the big jackpot.
“They’re selling more and more lottery tickets every year. People don’t even realize there are secondary prizes,” Jacobson said.
If the 2 billion in unclaimed lotto money was entered in someone’s phone by way of their purchased lottery ticket(s), perhaps that amount would be much lower — and some people would be much better off financially.
As previously reported by the Inquisitr, unclaimed lottery tickets aren’t the only ways people don’t get money owed to them. Apparently there are millions of dollars sitting in state treasuries waiting to be claimed as well. There are websites set up for people to check to see if they are owed money by the government.
[Photo courtesy of Bartosz Senderek / Creative Commons BY-SA-2.5 / Wikimedia Commons]