The Biggest Unclaimed Lottery Prizes Ever

Everybody has that dream where they win the lottery. Unbelievably, thousands of lottery prizes and winnings go unclaimed each year though.

Some unclaimed tickets are for small amounts but others are for life-changing sums. Here’s a look at some of the biggest lottery wins that went unclaimed.

Mega Millions Misery

On 24th December, 2002, one person failed to claim a winning ticket in the New York area for a Mega Millions jackpot worth $68 million.

Imagine the festive period that person could have experienced with that win…life can be cruel, so cruel.

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OK, so in terms of how potentially bad this could have been, it could have been a lot worse.

The record win for the Mega Millions jackpot is $656 million which was hit on 30th March, 2012 and shared by three people. It remains the second largest lottery jackpot win of all time. That adds some perspective, right?

The Double Disaster

An image of the National Lottery logo for the UK
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Imagine a set of circumstances where not only one lucky winner fails to come forward but two fail to do so.

Well, that actually happened back in 2006 when two players failed to claim their £1,666,667 jackpot wins that were won on the same date on the same lottery in the UK.

One winning ticket was traced back to Glasgow in Scotland. The other winning ticket was purchased at a shop in the English county of Warwickshire.

Unfortunately, the prize remained unclaimed until the deadline to claim had passed and both ticket holders missed the opportunity to pick up their millionaire-making prizes.

Mega Millions Misery II

One of the biggest unclaimed lottery wins came back in 2006 when a ticket was bought in New York for the Mega Millions lottery on 1st August.

The winning ticket won a staggering $31 million. It was confirmed that the ticket had been purchased in Queens. Nobody came forward to claim the prize.

A number of potential explanations have been proposed for the lack of a winner coming forward.

Whatever the reason for the failure to claim the life-altering sum, it has to go down as one of the most agonizing twists of fate ever.

Winning the Mega Millions at odds of 175,711,536/1, then experiencing the misfortune of not claiming the prize is every player’s worst nightmare.

We can only hope this winner remains unaware because in this situation ignorance most certainly is bliss.

£6.9 Million Come and Gone

An image of a Euro Millions lottery ticket
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An interesting story belongs to that of one ticket holder who won a stunning £6.9 million only to not claim the winnings.

The winning ticket was for a EuroMillions lottery draw back in August 2007. The ticket was believed to have been bought in the Devon area of the UK. Sadly, nobody claimed the prize before the six month deadline.

However, after details of the unclaimed prize were posted on a website the winner allegedly came forward.

Even though there was no proof that the reply to the article in the comments section was authentic, the explanation seems more than reasonable.

The poster, identified simply as Nick, shared a story of how he bought a month’s worth of tickets when he was staying in the UK to raise cash to finish a placement with the Settle Foundation.

Nick returned to the US with only a number of lottery draws remaining on his tickets. He kept the ticket stashed under his PC keyboard. He did find out he had won but instead of sharing the news with family, he immediately decided to keep it a secret until he returned home months later.

Unfortunately, upon returning home, Nick found that the ticket had disappeared from under his keyboard and it was too late for him to claim it as stolen.

The Largest UK Loser

Local people posing with the largest unclaimed Euro Millions jackpot
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A mammoth £64 million was not claimed in 2012. This became the largest ever unclaimed jackpot win for a EuroMillions draw.

The winning ticket was purchased in the Stevenage and Hitchin area. Even the town crier wandered the streets for days shouting at the top of his lungs that the prize remained unclaimed and it had been a ticket purchased in the area.

If a town crier can’t find the winner then what hope is there? Time went by and the deadline for claiming the prize eventually passed.

One person could have been a multi-millionaire but, for whatever reason, that will now not happen. Not in this way at least.