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NJ Lottery Unclaimed Prizes: Are You An Unsuspecting Millionaire?

Here’s how to check if you have a winning NJ Lottery ticket, Brick.

    Karen Wall , Patch Staff
Posted Sat, Dec 12, 2015 at 4:36 p m ET

Are you a millionaire that doesn’t know it?

According to the NJ Lottery’s 2014 Annual Report, there were about $39 million in “forfeited prizes” last year, the same as 2013.

So how do you find out if that old ticket in your wallet is worth a million dollars?

“Winning ticketholders from draw games such as Pick-3, Pick-4, Jersey Cash 5, CASH4LIFE, Pick-6, Powerball and Mega Millions, have one year from the date of the drawing to claim their prize,” NJ Lottery spokeswoman Judy Drucker told Patch.

The expiration date for instant games is slightly different, Drucker said.

“Due to the ongoing release of instant games, there are no predetermined dates for a game end. … Claimants have one year from the game end date to claim an instant ticket prize,” Drucker said.

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According to the NJ Lottery website, there are a significant amount of unclaimed instant win game tickets floating around. The lottery’s most recent tally of unclaimed instant tickets includes:

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  • $5 Million Cash Extravaganza – two $5 million tickets
  • Holiday Gold – one $1 million ticket
  • Double Diamond Spectacular – three $2 million tickets
  • $2 Million Mega Cash – seven $2 million tickets
  • Super Cash Spectacular – nine $250,000 tickets

WHERE DO THE UNCLAIMED PRIZES GO?

“Expired prizes fund the unclaimed prize reserves and may only be used to fund either future prizes or state contributions,” Drucker told Patch. “So, even if a prize goes unclaimed by the ticketholder the money still goes back to the public through additional prize offerings or to benefit the good causes and institutions funded by the Lottery.”

“The State Lottery Law requires that prizes not claimed within one year from the date of the drawing for machine games and within one year from the date of the game’s closing for instant games be forfeited. Effective November 21, 1991, the Commission authorized that 70 percent of forfeited prizes are to be maintained restricted for prize awards and are available to augment future prize awards or, at the discretion of the executive director, to augment the Division of State Lottery’s contribution for state aid for education and state institutions. The remaining 30 percent goes directly to contributions to aid education and institutions to be consistent with the 30 percent minimum contribution requirement of the State Lottery Law.”

NJ Lottery Unclaimed Prizes: Are You An Unsuspecting Millionaire? – Brick, NJ – Here's how to check if you have a winning NJ Lottery ticket, Brick.

Top 10 NJ Lottery Instant Game Payouts

Do you want to know the Top 10 NJ Lottery instant games with the best prize payouts?

Who doesn’t? Well, we’ve got you covered.

What are Scratcher Prize Payouts?

The prize payout is the percentage of money paid out as prizes relative to the ticket price. For example, a 70.0% prize payout would indicate the scratch off game pays out to players $0.70 for every dollar collect in ticket sales.

Games with higher ticket prices (e.g. $30 and $20 games) tend to have the highest prize payouts while lower priced tickets can have a much lower overall prize payout.

Below we’ve compiled the Top 10 NJ Lottery Scratch Offs with the best Overall Prize Payouts this month.

The Top 10 NJ Lottery Instant Games with the Best Prize Payouts! Know which games pay out the most in prizes and get your own lotto edge! ]]>