The Mega Millions drawing for Friday, December 2, 2022, is $333 million. I'm sure you're praying to the lottery gods to win if you play. But, what if you find an old winning lottery ticket that you misplaced or forgot about, can you still collect the winnings?

The lottery in New York can generate big winnings for players, but it generates even bigger winnings for the state.

The New York Lottery exists for the sole purpose of raising revenue to help support Aid to Education.

According to the most recent report (2020) from the New York State Lottery Commission, the Lottery made $3.6 billion in draw sales, $4.1 billion in instant sales, and $2 billion in video lottery gaming machines. The total earnings for the 2020 fiscal year were for a total of $9.7 billion.

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How Long Do New Yorkers Have To Collect On An Old Lottery Ticket?

According to the 2020 fiscal year New York State Lottery Commission report,

Unclaimed prizes as of March 31, 2020, and 2019 were $529,612,000 and $599,321,000, respectively. Prizes unclaimed Total prizes lapsed amounted to approximately $181,778,000 and $130,146,000 for fiscal years 2020 and 2019, respectively.

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If you are doing some deep cleaning around the house and find an old scratch-off ticket that is a winner or find that winning lottery ticket you thought you lost, you might think you got your luck back. However, you might not be so lucky. If the ticket is over a year old, you have forfeited your winnings.

Prizes unclaimed for one year after the drawing date (lapsed) are forfeited by the ticket holder. Under New York State Tax Law Section 1614, the Lottery retains forfeited prizes for supplemental prizes in subsequent lottery games.

So, if you're playing the Mega Millions or another one of the New York State lottery games, hold on to your tickets and keep them in a safe place!

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