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Yes. $67 Million In NC Lottery Money Was Unclaimed in a 2-Year Span

In the past two years, more than $67 million in lottery money went unclaimed, according to the NC Education Lottery.

Quick pick, scratch-off, birth dates, lucky numbers, or office pool, no matter how you played the lottery in North Carolina, a lot of you didn't claim your prize(s).

In fact, in the past two years more than $67 million went unclaimed overall, according to the NC Education Lottery.

Here's how it breaks down year by year:

2017 - $35,052,000 - unclamied

2018 - $31, 977,000 - unclaimed

A lot of the prizes were small ones, but they've added up to a large unclaimed pile. Lottery officials say they payout an average of $4.5 million daily and paid out about $1.6 billion in prizes in 2018.

It's rare for a large prize to go unclaimed.

RELATED: Mega Millions $1.5 Billion Jackpot Still Unclaimed

What Happens to Unclaimed Lottery Money in NC?

Half of the money goes directly to the state education fund and is used to help pay for school construction projects, pre-k education spots and college scholarships. 

RELATED: Isn't It The Education Lottery? 2WTK: How Much Money Goes To Schools

The other half goes to create additional player prizes, lottery officials confirmed to WFMY News 2.

RELATED: Nominate A NC School Hero For Your Chance To Win $1,000 And Them $10,000!

What's Being Done to Prevent Prizes From Going Unclaimed?

Unclaimed draw prizes:  A player has 180 days to claim a draw prize. After 90 days, the lottery begins a public relations effort to alert lottery players in the area where the winning ticket was sold and that the deadline for claiming the prize is near. The campaign includes media releases, a banner at the store where the lucky draw ticket was sold, a countdown clock may be placed at the store, and a media event may be held. We also spread the word on the lottery’s social media channels. 

Unclaimed prizes from instant games: The lottery does not know where instant games with prizes are sold. It does publicize information on when instant games are ending and deadlines to claim prizes, using all of its communications channels with players. Once all top prizes are claimed in an instant game, the lottery begins the process of ending that game. 

RELATED: Mega Millions $1.5 Billion Jackpot Still Unclaimed

Empower Yourself and Get Your Rain (money)!

There are several ways to check and see if they have a winning ticket. 

Check winning numbers and get information on how to play instant games on the lottery’s website, on the NC Lottery’s official mobile app, and at all locations where lottery tickets are sold.

Use a ticket scanner at the store or on the mobile app to see if a ticket is a winner.

Buy draw tickets through online play. If a player wins any prize amount, they will get an email notifying them that they won. 

Clean out your pockets so you don't accidentally wash your ticket when doing laundry!

Have a safe place to store your tickets and you'll always remember where you left it. 

Call Customer Service toll-free at (877) 962-7529 to get help with questions about lottery games.

If you win, no matter the amount---CLAIM YOUR PRIZE!!

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