Arkansas Scholarship Lottery Players Leave $5 Million Unclaimed

Arkansas lottery players might want to double check their tickets.

Arkansas lottery winners didn't bother to collect nearly $5 million in cash for the fiscal year that ended June 30.

That breaks down to $3 million unclaimed prizes for the instant games and $1.86 million for the draw games, which include the Powerball and Mega Millions, according to Arkansas Scholarship Lottery Spokeswoman Julie Baldridge in an email to Arkansas Business.

Typically, people have six months to claim a prize. In the case of an instant ticket, it is six months after the ticket is discontinued. And for the draw tickets, it is six months from the day of that drawing.

Baldridge said the unclaimed money has flowed back into the scholarship fund. But the lottery commission could spend up to $2.5 million each fiscal year on promotions or advertising or to maintain online game reserves, she said.

The lottery has a prize reserve account of $1 million, which was funded by winners who never claimed their prizes in fiscal 2011.