Many Lottery Winnings Often Go Unclaimed, Believe It Or Not

Cash for structured settlement payments

Robert Unikewicz, a Portland, Connecticut resident, often doesn?t actually bother checking his lottery tickets. You?d think that this seems like an odd decision for someone playing the tickets, but Unikewicz had a habit of accumulating the tickets and then ?every once in a while, when I have the chance, I go through them,? he explained in an interview with CT Post. When he finally got around to checking this time, though, he realized — three months later! — that he had won $50,000 on a December 5 Powerball ticket.

Lottery Winnings Often Go Unclaimed

According to the CT Post, millions of dollars worth of winnings go unclaimed every year from lotteries — so it might be time to check your ticket. In most cases, draw game tickets expire 180 days after the draw date. In Connecticut alone, there are still two unclaimed $1 million prizes that were sold in December and January. There?s also a smaller, but still substantial $25,000 a year for life ticket sold in January.

In some cases, it?s possible that people know they won and are trying to get their finances in order beforehand. It?s true, though, that big ticket wins sometimes go unclaimed forever — and people end up missing out on the payout of a lifetime. ?I hardly ever win anything. Now I can get caught up on some bills, give some money to my two daughters, take a vacation, and put some money away,? said Unikewicz about his plans for the money he nearly lost.

If you win the lottery, your life changes — whether it?s because you can pay off old debts, or because it gives you the financial cushion to quit your job and aim for something you enjoy doing more. What many lottery winners don?t realize, though, is that lottery winnings are often paid out as annuities. In the case of a $25,000 a year for life prize, this may be more obvious — but even a seemingly one time payout lotto actually tends to involve payments made over the course of many years.

Do You Want Cash for Annuity Now?

Some people might appreciate this setup, as it allows them to space out their winnings. For many people, though, it?s a flawed system. The effects of inflation mean that your money would be easier to invest now as a lump sum — over time, the money you receive is worth less and less accordingly. Many people opt to sell their lottery annuity payout. Lottery payments can, indeed, be sold to companies that will take a cut of your earnings — in return, you are able to receive a lump sum payment and invest your money or pay off debt right now, rather than later. The cash for annuity now option works for a wide variety of circumstances.

Will you opt for cash for annuity now — or are you going to wait for your money?

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