Lottery players are outraged a record $55million Powerball jackpot will go straight into government coffers if it is not claimed in the next three months.
Social media users were angry to learn the huge prize would drop into government hands rather than go to charity if the winner did not come forward.
‘Why does it go to the government?’ one asked. ‘That money could help out so many families in need. Give it to the relevant charities.’
Another wrote: ‘How about using it to provide housing and food etc etc to those that desperately need it?’
Lottery players are suprised and outraged that a $55m Powerball win drawn on January 11 will go into Victorian Government coffers if it is not claimed within the next three months
‘Give it to charity’: Social media users were unimpressed government could claim a $55m win
There was only one division one winner in Australia’s biggest lottery prize in more than a year; the winning ticket was sold at Scole Lotto & News (pictured) in Melbourne’s Brunswick
Some suggested the windfall should go straight to hospitals or schools while others called for a redraw of the jackpot.
Victoria, where the $55million winning ticket was bought on January 11, gives gamblers just six months to claim lottery prizes.
After that time the money goes to the State Revenue Office, where it can be used for general government business and earns interest.
The winnings can be claimed at any later time with proof of purchase of the ticket.
New South Wales and Queensland keep such winnings forever if they have not been claimed within six years and seven years respectively.
Tasmania and the Northern Territory follow the same rules as Victoria, while in South Australia winners have a year to collect prizes, after which time there is a state government process to follow to claim their winnings.
The life-changing $55m jackpot drawn on January 11 still remains unclaimed 84 days later
Social media users can think of better uses for $55m than giving it to a state government
Scole Lotto & News owner Sam Misiano said punters had flooded his store with sob stories
In Western Australia winnings not claimed within one year go directly to the community through grants.
In the Australian Capital Territory prizes not collected within six months can be claimed through application to the Gambling and Racing Commission.
The mystery winner of the unclaimed $55million Powerball prize has 97 days to present their ticket before the prize goes to the government.
An unregistered player won the enormous jackpot with the correct numbers 32, 7, 5, 34, 38 and 11, as well as the Powerball, which was 12.
He or she was the only division one winner in Australia’s biggest lottery prize in more than a year.
Tattslotto spokeswoman Elissa Lewis said the $55million Powerball prize was the largest unclaimed prize in the nation’s history, beating a $2million winning ticket sold in Cairns
Several big lottery jackpots sold in Australia over the past four years still remain unclaimed
The winning $55m ticket was bought from a newsagent at Brunswick in Melbourne’s inner-city
The winning ticket was bought from Scole Lotto & News in Barkly Square at Brunswick, in Melbourne’s inner-city.
Tattslotto spokeswoman Elissa Lewis said the $55million Powerball prize was the largest unclaimed prize in the nation’s history.
‘It’s been three months since the prize was won and we still don’t know who the winner is or where they could be,’ Ms Lewis said.
‘What we do know is that they only have three months left to claim their prize from Tatts and time is running out for us to unite the winner with their multi-million dollar prize.
‘Imagine the possibilities ahead for the mystery winner with $55 million in their bank account. Imagine if that ticket is sitting in plain sight, going unchecked because the winner couldn’t fathom that it could possibly be them.’
The $55m Powerball win is by far the largest unclaimed prize in Australian lottery history
Sam Misiano’s business Scole Lotto & News was three times busier after he put up signs encouraging the mysetery winner of a $55m Powerball jackpot to come forward
Ms Lewis said Tattslotto had not given up hope of finding the Powerball winner given there had been a number of instances where other unclaimed prizes had been claimed months after the draw.
‘People find their tickets in the most unusual places, from a car glovebox to the bottom of a reusable shopping bag.
‘We’ve also heard stories of tickets hiding in plain sight like on the fridge or in the player’s wallet.’
The next largest unclaimed lottery win in Australia is a $2million Wednesday Gold Lotto ticket bought in Cairns in January 2014.
Anyone who believes they are holding the winning $55million ticket can call 131 868 to begin the process of claiming the prize.
For anyone who believes they may have lost their ticket, there is a lost and damaged ticket process that they can follow. Details of this process can be found on our website at www.thelott.com.
The mystery Melbourne winner of an unclaimed $55million Powerball prize has fewer than 100 days to present their ticket before the whole lot goes to the Victorian government