When we buy lotto tickets at the convenience store on a whim, many of us often shove them into our bags and sometimes even forget that they exist. However, 27 Canadians may be losing a lot more than a slip of paper, as OLG has announced that there are dozens of winning tickets that have been unclaimed. What's even worse, is that some of these tickets are about to expire, and these winning Canadians may never be able to claim their money.
According to OLG, there are currently 27 unclaimed tickets that are worth $4.7 million that is set to expire throughout the province. A majority of these tickets are from those who participated in the Lotto Max and Lotto 649. These unclaimed prizes vary in value, but dozens of lucky Canadians are missing out on cash prizes from $10,000 to $1,000,000.
One of the bigger winning tickets, which is worth $1 million, was drawn on December 21, 2018, and has still gone unclaimed. According to the OLG website, this ticket was bought somewhere in the Toronto Core, so make sure to check your tickets if the date rings a bell!
According to CBC, OLG pays about 99 percent of its prize money to players each year. However, out of these prizes, roughly one percent of the cash goes unclaimed.
Last year, $2.38 billion worth of prizes were distributed to Ontarians with winning tickets, but $24 million went unclaimed.
While 27 unclaimed prizes are currently on their website, many more often exist for much smaller amounts. Tony Bitonti, OLG spokesperson, told CBC that "we put the larger prizes, $10,000 or more, on our website because again those are the major ones that we really wanted people to claim."
Five of these unclaimed winning tickets were bought in the Toronto area, while others were bought across the province in areas including Windsor, Guelph, Hamilton, and Burlington.
Even one Canadian in Cornwall, Ontario is currently missing out on a $100,000 prize.
However, once a winning ticket is drawn in Ontario, the clock starts ticking for how long the owner can actually claim the prize. Most lottery tickets in Ontario expire one year after it's draw dates.
This means that some lucky winners are running out of time to actually claim their prize. In fact, a winner in Toronto West only has until October to claim their $333,333.40 prize.
To view a full list of unclaimed tickets, you can check out the OLG website here.
If one of the winning tickets happens to be yours, you can call OLG Support Centre at 1-800-387-0098 to learn how to claim your prize.