Oops! Someone Let a $16 Million Lottery Ticket Expire

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A Powerball winner failed to claim his or her winnings within six months, rendering the ticket worthless.

Here’s one more reason not to play the lottery: Even if you win, you can still lose.

One (un)lucky person in Florida failed to cash in his or her winning Powerball ticket within six months of the jackpot drawing, Reuters says. It was worth $16 million, the largest unclaimed jackpot in the state in a decade. In 2003, someone failed to claim $53.7 million.

Even if it’s found, the ticket is now expired and worthless. At least in Spain they give you more than a year, which was long enough for a man to find a missing ticket worth $6.3 million and turn it in to police. (He could still get the money if the original owner isn’t found.)

The Florida ticket was purchased in May at a Carollwood Market convenience store in Tampa, Reuters says.

What a waste. Can you imagine leaving $16 million on the table? Well, how about $150? That amount or more is spent per adult each year on lottery tickets in 25 states, according to a 2010 Bloomberg study. In eight states, the average jumps to more than $300.

You can easily devise a way to remind yourself to check the numbers, but there’s no way to significantly improve your odds of winning the lottery. If you think otherwise, check out the video below:

Stacy Johnson

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