When Do Lottery Tickets Expire? (2024)


When Do Lottery Tickets Expire? (1)

It happens all too often. A lottery player purchases tickets for a drawing and somehow forgets to check them after the lottery announces a winner. A player will think, “Didn’t I get a ticket for that drawing?” and scurry about looking for a ticket they purchased weeks or months before.

Typically, lottery tickets expire between 90 days to 1 year from the date of the drawing, depending on where the ticket was sold. The date of expiration is usually listed on the back of the ticket. However, if the expiration date isn’t listed, you can check with your local lottery.

The rest of this article will begin with examples of expiration periods for lottery tickets, followed by some general information about the two main lotteries in the United States: Mega Millions and Powerball.

Table of Contents

Sample Expiration Periods for Lottery Tickets

Lottery tickets typically expire between 90 days and one year from the date of the drawing or the ending of a game.

Mega Millions and Powerball ticket expiration dates typically vary from 90 days to a year, depending on the rules and regulations of the selling jurisdiction. You can call the state lottery office where you purchased your ticket to get the applicable expiration date for that ticket, or you can go to its website.

You can click here to go to the nationwide map for the Mega Millions lottery to get the phone number and to the websites of participating states and territories. Regardless of which lottery game you play, the expiration dates remain the same.

Below are eight examples of the expiration periods for lottery tickets by state.

Arizona

All draw game tickets expire 180 days after the drawing date. Once a ticket has expired, it cannot be redeemed, even if it is a winning ticket. Scratchers tickets expire 180 days from the end of the game.

If you have any questions, the number for the Arizona Lottery is 1-480-921-4400, and you can go to their website by clicking here.

California

Draw game tickets must be received or postmarked by the California Lottery office within 180 days of the drawing date. However, Mega Millions and Powerball Jackpots must be received or postmarked within one year of the drawing date.

Scratch tickets must be received or postmarked by the California Lottery office within 180 days of the end of the game.

If you have any questions, the number for the California Lottery is 1-800-568-8379, and you can go to their website by clicking here.

Florida

All draw game prizes are valid for 180 days after the date of the drawing. However, Scratch-Off and Fast Play games are only valid for 60 days after the game ends.

If you have any questions, the number for the Florida Lottery is 1-850-487-7787, and you can go to their website by clicking here.

Georgia

All draw game tickets are valid for 180 days after the date of the drawing. However, instant tickets are only valid for 90 days after the ending of the game.

If you have any questions, the number for the Georgia Lottery is 1-404-215-5000, and you can go to their website by clicking here.

Indiana

All draw game prizes must be claimed within 180 days of the drawing date. Likewise, all scratch tickets expire within 180 days of the scheduled end of the game. However, those deadlines have been extended for certain winning Hoosier Lottery tickets for an additional 60 days beyond the usual 180-day period dictated by statute.

If you have any questions, the number for the Indiana Lottery is 1-800-955-6886, and you can go to their website by clicking here.

New York

All prizes must be claimed in New York within a year of the drawing. Additionally, scratch ticket prizes must be claimed within a year of the end of the game. You can click here to view the schedule of the end-of-game schedule.

If you have any questions, the number for the New York Lottery is 1-518-388-3300, and you can go to their website by clicking here.

Texas

All draw game prizes must be claimed within 180 days of the drawing date. Likewise, all scratch tickets expire within 180 days of the scheduled end of the game.

However, those deadlines can be extended for certain eligible members of the military subject to approval by the Texas Lottery Commission. If you think you qualify for this extension, you can call 1-800-375-6886 for additional details and conditions.

If you have any questions, the number for the Texas Lottery is 1-800-375-6886, and you can go to their website by clicking here.

Virginia

All draw game tickets must be claimed within 180 days of the drawing. Likewise, Scratch tickets expire 180 after the game officially ends, and Print ‘n Play games expire 180 days after the date of purchase.

Additionally, if your winning ticket expires during a Virginia state of emergency, you can still file your winning claims by mail or in person, but only if you do so no longer than 30 days after the Governor’s state of emergency is lifted.

If you have any questions, the number for the Virginia Lottery is 1-804-692-7777, and you can go to their website by clicking here.

Mega Millions

As of the end of January 2020, 45 states offer the Mega Millions lottery along with Washington D.C., Puerto Rico, and the United States Virgin Islands. The five states not participating in the Mega Millions lottery include Alabama, Alaska, Hawaii, Nevada, and Utah.

Mega Millions began in August 1996 with six participating states. Mega Millions set a world record jackpot of $645 million on March 30, 2012. Three winning tickets purchased in Illinois, Kansas, and Maryland shared the prize.

Mega Millions broadcast their drawings live every Tuesday and Friday at 11 p.m. Eastern at WSB-TV Studios in Atlanta, Georgia. Mega Millions costs $2 per play, and players select five numbers from 1 to 70, and 1 Mega Ball number from 1 to 75. For an additional $1 per play, players can use the Megaplier option to multiply non-jackpot prizes from 2 to 5 times.

Mega Millions jackpot winners can choose a lump sum cash payment or an annual payout paid in 30 graduated payments for 29 years. The parameters for prize claims vary from state to state, and both prize options are subject to local and federal taxes.

The overall changes of winning a drawing are 1 in 24, and the chance of winning the jackpot prize is 1 in 302,575,350.

Powerball

The Powerball lottery celebrated its 28th anniversary in April of 2020 and, like Mega Millions, is offered in 45 states, Washington D.C., Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Powerball held its first drawing in April 1992 with 15 participating states. It made history with the largest prize in any jackpot of $1.586 billion on January 13, 2016.

Powerball broadcasts their drawing twice a week on Wednesday and Saturday nights at 10:59 p.m. Eastern from the Florida Lottery studio in Tallahassee. Powerball costs $2 per play and players select five numbers ranging from 1 to 69, and an additional Powerball number from 1 to 26. For an additional $1 per play, players can use the POWERPLAY option to multiply non-jackpot prizes from 2 to 10 times.

Powerball winners have the option of a one-time cash payment or annual graduated payments for 29 years. The specific rules for prize claims vary by state, and both prize options are subject to jurisdictional and federal taxes.

The overall changes of winning a drawing are 1 in 24.9, and the chance of winning the jackpot is 1 in 292.2 million.

Conclusion

Today we covered typical expirations periods for lottery tickets. We also showed you how to find the exact information for the state or territory where you purchased a lottery or scratch ticket.

Additionally, we covered some basic information about the two most popular lotteries in the United States: the Mega Millions and Powerball lotteries.

If you enjoy playing the lottery, you might consider bookmarking this article for future reference. And until we meet again, the best of luck to you in all your affairs.

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When Do Lottery Tickets Expire? (2024)
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