I didn’t up and quit my job last night to live a life of luxury, and the odds are pretty good you didn’t either. But two lucky winners struck it rich in Wednesday’s Powerball jackpot, splitting $587 million. But don’t just automatically toss your lotto ticket in disgust if you didn’t match all the winning numbers. Did you know some people will, and along with it maybe throw away as much as $2 million?
Chuck Strutt, executive director of the Multi-State Lottery Association, told CNNMoney there were nearly $40 billion in prizes in U.S. lotteries last year, and about $800 million in winnings weren’t collected. CNNMoney says:
Wednesday’s Powerball will pay out $293.8 million to the each of the two winners over the next 29 years. It will also pay $1 million to the 58 players who got five numbers, but not the Powerball, right. Another eight tickets are worth $2 million because the players paid extra to double the lesser prizes.
Those 66 millionaire winning tickets were spread across 27 states. But about 2% of those second-prize winners — one or two individuals — will probably never come forward.
Other prizes include $40,000 (if you spent a dollar more with Power Play) for matching four numbers plus the powerball. Just by matching one number (Powerball) you win four bucks. So you might want to check your tickets, even though you didn’t hit the jackpot. It probably won’t be enough to retire on, but it could pay for about half a cup of Starbucks’ new $7 coffee.