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Gaming Officials: Millions of Dollars in Lottery Prizes Go Unclaimed

People are swarming to buy tickets for the $586 million Mega Millions lottery jackpot, but you might be surprised to know even more money than that is going unclaimed.
(CNN) People are swarming to buy tickets for the $586 million Mega Millions lottery jackpot, but you might be surprised to know even more money than that is going unclaimed.

Gaming officials say about $800 million worth of lottery prizes go unclaimed every year. That's only about two-percent of the total prize money awarded in lotteries and an even smaller sliver of all the money pay to participate, but it's still a lot of money.

Officials say people who win a million dollars with their ticket sometimes don't check their numbers, because once they hear the news that there's no jackpot winner, they assume they've lost.

Two tickets which each won one-million dollars are set to expire in New York are nearly a year old and they're set to expire in the next few weeks.

Two other million dollar tickets, sold in New Jersey, expired in November. And in Tampa, Florida, a ticket bought last may was once worth more than 10 million dollars. That ticket also expired in November.
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