Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Q&A: Unclaimed Lotto prize, death benefits

Unclaimed Lotto tickets

A couple of weeks ago, a winning lottery ticket for $16 million went unclaimed in Tampa. How often does that happen?

The ticket you're referring to was one of three winning tickets sold for the $50 million, May 25, 2013, Powerball drawing. It was purchased in Carrollwood and never redeemed. The other two, sold in Delaware and Louisiana, were turned in and the prizes claimed.

By law, winning tickets sold from a terminal (Lotto, Mega Millions, Powerball, Meg Money, Fantasy 5, Play 4 and Cash 3) must be claimed within 180 days of the drawing.

If they aren't, according to the Florida Lottery website: "Florida law requires that 80 percent of unclaimed prize funds from expired tickets be transferred directly to the Educational Enhancement Trust Fund. The remaining 20 percent is returned to the prize pool from which future prizes are awarded or used for special prize promotions.

"Should a Powerball or Mega Millions jackpot ticket not be claimed within the 180 days of the applicable draw date, the funds to pay the unclaimed jackpot will be returned to the lottery members in their proportion of sales for the jackpot rollover series."

The latest unclaimed Powerball ticket was just the third in the 20-plus years of that lottery.

But there have been more than 20 winning Florida Lotto tickets that have gone unclaimed since the first drawing on May 7, 1988.

The largest was for $50 million from the March 12, 2003, drawing. That ticket was sold in North Bay Village, in Dade County.

There have been three unclaimed Lotto prizes in which the winning ticket was sold in the Tampa Bay area:

• Tampa, Jan. 13, 1990, jackpot $6.4 million.

• St. Petersburg, Feb 7, 1998, $6.3 million.

• St. Petersburg, Feb. 14, 2004, $15 million.

Early death, benefits

When people die after they've received only a few months or years of their Social Security retirement benefits, which they have paid into their entire lives, what happens to the money that would have otherwise been paid them if they had lived much longer?

Social Security does not place Social Security taxes paid on a worker's earnings in an individual account. The program is a social insurance program, a "pay-as-you-go system in which today's workers pay for today's beneficiaries," according to a Social Security spokeswoman.

"All Social Security taxes go into the Social Security Trust Funds, which are used to pay current Social Security beneficiaries," she said. If benefits were never paid on a worker's record, the taxes paid would simply remain part of the funds. However, the worker's family may be eligible to receive benefits.

Compiled from Times and wire reports. To submit a question, email answers@tampabay.com.

Q&A: Unclaimed Lotto prize, death benefits 11/26/13 [Last modified: Friday, November 29, 2013 1:42pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. St. Petersburg's ballooning sewage debt could threaten credit rating (but there's a Hail Mary plan to avoid that)

    Local Government

    ST. PETERSBURG — The city needs a lot of money — $435 million over the next five years — most of it to fix its leaky sewer pipes and aging sewer plants.

    In September 2016, signs at St. Petersburg's North Shore Park warned people to stay out of the water due to contamination from sewage released by the city's overwhelmed sewer system. The City Council on Thursday learned that the very expensive fix for its sewage woes could hamper the city's credit rating. [LARA CERRI   |   Times]
  2. Pinellas County receives $30 million for beach renourishment

    Local Government

    CLEARWATER –– While Pinellas beaches continually rank among the best in America, they need help to stay that way.

    The Army Corps of Engineers has allocated $30 million to help with beach renourishment at several Pinellas locations, including including Sand Key, Treasure Island and Upham Beach. This photo from 2014 shows how waves from high tides caused beach erosion at Sunset Beach near Mansions by the Sea condominium complex SCOTT KEELER   |   Times

  3. Straz Center parking squeeze infuriates patrons, motivates search for solutions

    Transportation

    TAMPA — When the David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts opened 30 years ago, it welcomed just 30,000 patrons its first year.

    Fireworks shoot into the sky over the David A. Straz Jr. Center For The Performing Arts. [SCOTT MCINTYRE, Times]
  4. Video shows naked man who stole swan sculpture in Lakeland, deputies say

    Crime

    The Polk County Sheriff's Office is searching for a large swan sculpture that was stolen from a Lakeland cold storage facility last weekend, possibly by a naked man.

    The Polk County Sheriff's Office says this naked man stole a large black and white swan sculpture, upper right, from a Lakeland storage facility last weekend. Surveillance video showed the man walking into Lakeland Cold Storage. [Polk County Sheriff's Office]
  5. Fennelly: Dirk Koetter's apology no way to keep this fidget spinning

    Bucs

    TAMPA — It all began with a fidget spinner.

    This tweet from the Bucs, mocking the Falcons' 28-3 lead they lost in the Super Bowl against the Falcons, prompted a public apology from head coach Dirk Koetter, who called it "unprofessional and not smart."