Millions in prizes left unclaimed by Scots lottery players

The millions that go unclaimed benefit various good causes
The millions that go unclaimed benefit various good causes
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This week a Scottish lottery player failed to come forward in time and missed out on the chance to take home a £1 million jackpot.

The winning ticket for the Millionaire Raffle in the Lotto Draw was sold in North Lanarkshire on 23 November last year.

The owner had 180 days to claim the prize, but failed to do so before the deadline ran out at midnight on 22 May.

It is an unfortunate situation for the ticket-holder, whoever they may be.

Surprisingly, however, it is also a scenario that is much more common than you might think.

Many six or seven figure prizes regularly go unclaimed for weeks and months – and some are never claimed at all.

The National Lottery posts the details of major prizes two weeks after a draw is made if the winner has still not come forward.

Currently in the UK jackpots worth a total of over £10 million are listed as waiting to be claimed.

Included in this is a £1,000,000 windfall and luxury safari holiday won by a ticket bought in Dundee.

The ticket was purchased on 28 March this year for the EuroMillions draw and the deadline to claim the money expires on 24 September. On 8 April another winning ticket was bought in Scotland, this time in Aberdeen, for the Lotto Draw.

The owner has until 5 October to come forward or like the winner in North Lanarkshire, they could lose out on a £1 million prize.

In fact, by failing to claim they could become like any one of the six players from Lanarkshire who have failed to collect a seven-figure sum since 2006.

In February this year a South Lanarkshire winner failed to come forward to scoop a £1 million windfall.

On Christmas Day 2012, another player from the area missed the deadline to claim the same amount.

And earlier that year two more also lost out on prizes worth £3.6 million and £1 million respectively.

While in 2006, £5.4 million went unclaimed in North Lanarkshire, a Scottish record.

Commenting on the latest addition to this list Andy Carter, Senior 
Winners’ Advisor at The National Lottery, said: “To avoid this unfortunate situation happening again, I would urge all National Lottery players to check their tickets on a regular basis.”

Yet with the failure to find the 
ticket-holder in North Lanarkshire, what will happen to the money in question?

Mr Carter said: “We tried very hard to find the ticket-holder and it’s a real shame that they have missed out, but there is still one winner – the nation.

“This money, and all the interest earned over the 180 days, will now go to benefit projects all over the UK funded by The National Lottery.”

Indeed, while lottery winners across the UK may miss out on a life-changing fortune, the Lottery says prizes that remain unclaimed are used to change many more lives for the better.

They are added to he National Lottery Good Causes Fund, which supports over 500,000 projects in sectors such as art, volunteering, education, heritage, health and sport.

Among those that have benefited from Good Causes are the Edinburgh Community Sports Hubs, which bring together local people, house local clubs and assist people in leading a more active and healthier lifestyle.

In 2012 the Good Causes fund received its biggest windfall when a EuroMillions ticket went unclaimed in the Stevenage or Hitchin area of Hertfordshire.

The winning ticket was worth £63.8 million and a major campaign to find it was launched as the deadline approached.

Leaflets were distributed and a van was driven around the local area with the Lotto slogan: “It could be you.”

Despite this, it became the largest unclaimed prize in the UK, benefiting an untold number of good causes.