lottery ticket win unclaimed - pic by Santeri Viinamäki

We all dream of winning the lottery. But what happens when we win… but don’t claim our jackpot?

For not one, but two winners in Cheshire, this is a frustrating reality.

Two triumphant tickets were bought in Cheshire East, however, as of yet, neither have been claimed.

Whilst one ticket was bought for the Euromillions, the lucky (or rather unlucky) winner may not be aware of their grand prize.

This is because the winning code – of JZLP 20395 – was printed on the back.

The reason for this wasn’t due to a careless mistake.

It was because it was a Millionaire Maker code, which is printed on the back of each Euromillions ticket.

Winning codes are announced twice a week with occasional special draws making multiple millionaires.

The code was announced in March and, fortunately, the mystery Cheshire East winner has until September 2021 to claim their prize.

So, if you have bought a ticket any time recently in the area, get checking those slips.

That wasn’t the only big unclaimed lottery prize coming out of Cheshire this year.

The next winning ticket is from January’s Set For Life Draw, where this participant won a staggering £10,000 a month for a year.

Strangely, this ticket was also purchased in Cheshire East. These winning numbers were 24, 27, 28, 35, 40. Life Ball 8.

However, this victor has less time to claim and, if they want to get their takings, they need to do so by July 2021.

It’s not uncommon for prizes to remain unclaimed, and, from scratch cards to tickets, millions of pounds go unspoken-for each year.

So, it’s always worth double-checking cards and entries.

But why are so many tickets left unchecked?

Sometimes people forget they have bought a ticket whilst others just lose them.

Also, people often aren’t aware there is a secondary jackpot and think there is just a main prize when there can be several.

More often than not, however, people simply don’t check their numbers.

This is an issue for people across the world.

From The UK to Australia, some of the biggest unclaimed jackpots have reached the billions.

In America, for example, in the 12 months leading up to July 2017, unspoken-for winnings reached a whopping $2.89 billion.

That’s an estimated 167 millionaires who have missed out on life-changing sums of money.In terms of individual unclaimed jackpots, two of the biggest ones in the world come from The USA and The UK.

A $77 million Powerball prize was left uncollected in Georgia, USA in 2011. Whilst £63.8 million was left untaken in Stevenage, England in 2012.

There is one good thing that comes from a forgotten ticket, though.

And that is any prize money that isn’t claimed goes back into The National Lottery who distribute it to charities across The UK.

But rules of unclaimed money differ from country to country.

If you do think that you have won a prize but are worried you have lost the ticket, there is still a way to collect.

You will need to claim in writing to Camelot within 30 days of the draw. Camelot is the company that operates The National Lottery.

In general, if you have won a prize through a lottery ticket or scratch card, you can claim at a post office, shop, or supermarket.

(Image: Santeri Viinamäki)

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