What Happens If No One Claims The $1.3 Billion Mega Millions Jackpot?
Earlier this year, the lottery world was set on FIRE when Mega Millions hit its Third biggest jackpot ever at $1.3 Billion. It was also the second largest jackpot to only have ONE ticket winner, which was drawn July 29th in Illinois.
The winner for that Billion-dollar jackpot has yet to come forward a month later, so now some are asking... what happens to the money if it's not claimed?
So first, we need to break down a couple things.
FIRST - There's still a LOT of time before the jackpot money is forfeited by the winner. From the date of the drawing (July 29th, 2022), the winner has one full year to claim the prize. So they can draw this out for 364 days if they wanted (365 if it were a leap year).
So our $1.3 billion-dollar winner has until July 28th of 2023 to lay claim to their new fortune.
SECOND - The ticket was sold in a Chicago Suburb - Des Plaines, Illinois - and the Illinois State Lottery allows winners to remain anonymous. So it's very likely the state already knows, and the person already knows they've won... they just haven't officially come forward.
And we will likely NEVER know the identity of the winner... unless we happen to be close to them personally. At which time, when they start buying jet skis by the dozen... we might have an idea as to who it is.
NOW, on to the big question... should all the stars align in the ABSOLUTE wrong order, and no one comes forward to claim the prize...
What happens to the money?
The answer is... all $1.3 billion will be returned to the states that contributed. So however much money Michigan, Ohio, Illinois, and Indiana pumped into the Mega Millions, they would get that back. TYPICALLY, states will return the money into the lottery fund.
However, the State of Michigan puts that money to good use. All unclaimed prize money added to the Lottery's profit all goes to the School Aid Fund. In 2021 alone, the Michigan Lottery contributed even MORE than the Mega Millions Jackpot to the fund - $1.4 billion - supporting children's education in the state.
Should the Mega Millions jackpot winner not come forward by July of next year, Michigan stands to add millions more back into the School Aid Fund, on top of all other unclaimed lottery prizes in the state.