Iowa Lottery players to get a crack at unclaimed million dollar prize

Powerball / (Source: MGN)

Last Thursday came and went and a million dollar Powerball prize went with it.

The person with the winning ticket had a year to claim the prize and the clock ran out on that year last Thursday. Nobody showed up for the loot.

But the money doesn't blow away in the breeze. Lottery players in Iowa will get a shot at that unclaimed money.

The winning ticket for the unclaimed prize was sold in April, 2018 at a Casey's General Store in Nevada, Iowa. The ticket matched the first five numbers that night but missed the Powerball.

Lottery officials had a weekend to scratch their heads about the no-show and on Monday they said, "We believe this is the first time that a $1 million prize has gone unclaimed in the lottery’s 34-year history. Under Iowa law, the money from unclaimed lottery prizes goes into the lottery’s prize pools for future games and promotions. So with this one-time, $1 million giveaway, we’re putting that into action!"

Here's the plan: from May 29 through June 18, Iowa Lottery players will be able to enter a promotion called the “Woo Hoo A Million For You Giveaway” for a chance to win the $1 million prize. Any Powerball ticket purchased in Iowa during that three-week period will be eligible for entry. The drawing for the promotion’s $1 million prize will be held June 19.

Casey’s received a $1,000 bonus from the lottery for selling the $1 million prize at one of its stores. That payment was made shortly after the prize was won.

Lottery officials said Monday, "Now we’ll dedicate our efforts to making sure that this prize money finds its way to a new Iowa Lottery winner."

There’s another distinction that also applies to this particular unclaimed prize money: When a jackpot prize in Powerball expires without being claimed, the money is returned to the states in the game in proportion to the percentage of sales that came from each state. But because the $1 million prize that expired was at Powerball’s Match 5 level, the entire $1 million will remain in Iowa to be given away as a prize.

When the promotion starts on May 29, the Iowa Lottery will list the rules and full details on its website.