D’oh! $200K Michigan Lottery Jackpot Forever Unclaimed After Prize Deadline Passes

Written By Danny Lawhon on September 2, 2021

The events of the past 18 months have warped our daily lives, our routines, and even our sense of time. But, goodness … letting a six-figure Michigan Lottery jackpot go to waste seems like something that shouldn’t be slipping through the cracks.

Nevertheless, that’s what has occurred in Michigan, as a September 2020 Fantasy 5 lottery jackpot’s prize collection period has lapsed as of Thursday evening, according to an official lottery announcement.

Ouch.

A $201,144 ouch, in fact. That’s all there is to say, really. Here’s what happened.

Michigan Lottery Fantasy 5 jackpot won … then crickets

The winning ticket from the Sept. 2, 2020 drawing was sold at the Superior Market, located at 5700 Plymouth Road in Ann Arbor, according to information from the Michigan Lottery. The winning ticket matched all five numbers in the $1 Fantasy 5 daily draw game: 6-25-27-28-38.

Fantasy 5 tickets are valid for one year from the drawing date. According to the lottery, unclaimed prizes go to the Michigan state School Aid Fund after their expiration.

If you happen to be a big winner, beyond potentially lawyering up and taking proper legal steps, contact the lottery at 517-373-1237 to claim your prize. You must visit state lottery headquarters in Lansing to claim all large-scale jackpot prizes.

But that step never happened in this case. And before anyone pooh-poohs this six-figure amount as something forgettable, just for perspective: A roughly $200,000 haul is around 3.5 times the median yearly household income in Michigan.

That can be pressure-relieving influx of cash for a lot of folks.

In case you’re wondering, the record for an unclaimed lottery prize in Michigan was set in 1998. A whopping $34 million prize went unclaimed, according to information from Michigan Lottery spokesperson Jake Harris. That winning Michigan Lotto game ticket was purchased in East Lansing.

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How often do large lottery jackpots go unclaimed?

Even for those folks who are planning on their big cash-ins, it’s not always a rush to the headquarters to claim those significant winnings.

The Michigan Lottery’s unclaimed prizes listing (draw games only) has nine tickets listed at just over $3 million in total cash. The largest is a $1 million Powerball ticket from this past May 5. That winner also has 12 months to claim their prize.

There are some practical reasons, too, for why lottery prizes go unclaimed for a while.

“In some instances, players wait to claim based on their personal financial/tax situation,” Harris said in an email. “It’s not unusual for a number of players to reach out in January to claim a prize they won the previous year.”

In any case, that’s obviously miles more sensible than, well … not reaching out at all.

Danny Lawhon Avatar
Written by
Danny Lawhon

Danny has more than a decade of reporting experience in three states, including nearly 10 years with the Des Moines Register. He's covered college and professional sports, the NCAA Tournament and the PGA, LPGA and Champions Tours. Danny is a professional musician in his spare time and plays the piano and pipe organ (seriously). He now covers the online gambling industry in Michigan.

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