UNCLAIMED! What Happens If A Mega Millions Prize Goes Permanently Unclaimed?

It took weeks for the 3 prizewinners in the 2012 giant $656 million USA Mega Millions game to step forward to claim their prizes.

The jackpot went up from $640 million after sales from the 44 state lotteries were totaled. 

So what would have happed if the $218 million apiece went unclaimed? The Kansas winner had a year to claim - the Maryland and Illinois winners had 6 months.

The Mega Millions FAQ tells us if the prize is not claimed within the time limit, then the money goes back to the participating states. Tough for the winners!

Luckily the Maryland Lottery’s winning Mega Millions ticket was claimed.  Stephen Martino, Director of the Maryland Lottery, announced at a press conference that the ticket was claimed by three very happy individuals.

The three friends, all of whom work in Maryland’s public education system, shared the $218.6 million portion of the record-breaking $656 million jackpot from the March 30 draw.