WASHINGTON - Over a month has gone by and still no winner has come forward to claim Maryland's whopping $731.1 million Powerball jackpot.
But winners waiting for the right time to cash in on their winnings is really nothing new, says Maryland Lottery and Gaming spokesperson Carole Gentry.
Powerball Mascot/Maryland Lottery Public Affairs Specialist Bryan Kelly (left) holds check for the yet-to-be revealed Powerball jackpot winner, with Lottery District Sales Manager, Bill Wineland (right).
In March of 2012, a trio of educators from Baltimore County waited several weeks before claiming their share of a then-record $656 million Mega Millions jackpot. In 2018, the winner of the $1.53 billion Mega Millions jackpot in South Carolina took more than four months to come forward.
In Maryland, winners typically have 182 days from the date of the drawing to claim their prize. If the ticket expires during Maryland's COVID-19 state of emergency it can still be claimed for up until 30 days after the state of emergency ends.
Maryland Lottery Public Relations Specialist, Doug Lloyd (center), presents Richard Ravenscroft (right), owner of Coney Market in Lonaconing, Maryland, with a $100,000 bonus check for selling the jackpot-winning Powerball ticket for the January 20, 2
According to Gentry, each jurisdiction that sells Powerball contributes to the jackpot pool proportionally, based on its sales. She told FOX 5 that If the jackpot isn't claimed, each jurisdiction would get its jackpot contribution back. The money would be used according to each jurisdiction's rules regarding unclaimed prizes.
Richard Ravenscroft (left), owner of Coney Market in Lonaconing, Maryland, stands in front of the Powerball Jackpot banner with Lottery District Sales Manager, Bill Wineland (right) as Powerball Mascot/Maryland Lottery Public Affairs Specialist Bryan
Every jurisdiction has different rules. But under Maryland law, the unclaimed prize money must be used for player prizes. Gentry told us Maryland's unclaimed prize fund is used to fund second-chance prizes and bonus prize promotions for the lottery's games.
We shouldn't worry about the prize going unclaimed for too long, as Maryland rarely sees large prizes go abandoned. The last time it happened was in June 2019 when the winner of a $1 million second-tier Mega Millions prize didn't step forward. "We did our best to get the word out as the last date to claim drew near," Gentry told FOX 5. "We sent out press releases, talked about it on air, posted it on our website and social media, but nobody came forward."