Some Aussies are rounding out the decade as millionaires – but are yet to discover their good fortune.
There are currently 14 unclaimed lottery division one prizes across Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, Western Australia and Tasmania (see Table 1 below), collectively worth $13,510,114.95.
These prizes were won on tickets that weren't registered to a player's card when they were purchased, which means lottery officials have no way of contacting these winners about their life-changing news.
Instead, they're urging Aussies tidying up around the home, office and car this festive season to remain vigilant for any unchecked lottery tickets.
The call comes amid the countdown to this year's Saturday Lotto $30 Million Megadraw on 28 December 2019 – a draw that traditionally creates more newly-minted millionaires than any other.
The Lott spokesperson Matt Hart said he hadn't given up hope of uniting the unclaimed division one windfalls with their rightful owners.
"Remarkably, eight of the 14 unclaimed lottery division one prizes were from tickets purchased in Queensland. We're not sure why Queenslanders are reluctant to pocket their prizes, but we're hoping to spur our unsuspecting winners into action," he explained.
"The biggest and oldest unclaimed division one winning entry in Australia was purchased in Cairns in 2014 and is worth $2 million. Imagine how this winner could have spent the past six years enjoying their windfall.
"Interestingly, half of the unclaimed division one prizes are from draws held during this year alone, and these are worth more than $6.7 million. These winning tickets were purchased from Gatton and Victoria Point in Queensland, from Traralgon and Ringwood in Victoria, from Carnarvon in Western Australia and from Latrobe in Tasmania.
"Needless to say, with more than $13 million in division one prize money waiting to be claimed nationally, it could be well worth checking any old lottery tickets you find in-store or online.
"If you do discover you're holding a winning entry, contact us on 131 868 to begin the process of claiming your prize. You could be reassessing your plans for Christmas and 2020!"
While these winning players still had time to collect their prizes, Mr Hart said the clock was ticking.
"The amount of time people have to claim their lottery prizes varies from state to state. For example, people have seven years in Queensland and six years in New South Wales, but only six months to claim their prize directly from us in Victoria and Tasmania.
"We're in the business of paying out mind-blowing prizes, so we are on a mission to unite these prizes with their rightful owners."
Mr Hart encouraged anyone buying an entry into the upcoming Saturday Lotto $30 Million Megadraw to register their tickets to a player's card so there was no chance of missing out on any winnings.
"The $30 Million Megadraw is one of the last chances to enter 2020 as a millionaire. Historically, it's the draw that's nationally renowned for creating more millionaires than any other," he said.
"If you won division one, wouldn't you want to know as soon as possible?
"If your entry is registered and you score division one, I'll be reaching out to you directly to deliver that life-changing news!"
Table 1: unclaimed division one prizes in Australia
|Game||Draw||Draw date*||Selling outlet||Suburb||State||Division one Prize|
|Wednesday Gold Lotto||3315||22/01/2014||NewsExtra DFO Cairns||Cairns||Qld||$2,000,000.00|
|Saturday Lotto||3447||2/08/2014||Henry Deane Plaza Newsagency
(Now called Paperstream)
|Saturday Gold Lotto||3539||20/06/2015||Nextra Morayfield Village||Morayfield||Qld||$1,000,000.00|
|Monday Gold Lotto||3618||19/12/2016||Cotton Tree News||Maroochydore||Qld||$1,000,000.00|
|Saturday Gold Lotto||3699||31/12/2016||Lutwyche News & Gifts||Lutwyche||Qld||$1,347,826.09|
|Saturday Gold Lotto||3787||4/11/2017||Nextra Capalaba Park News||Capalaba||Qld||$369,059.13|
|Saturday Gold Lotto||3867||11/08/2018||Golden Lucky News||Helensvale||Qld||$671,513.12|
|Saturday Lotto||3905||22/12/2018||Connection Newsagency||Sydney CBD||NSW||$1,018,499.24|
|Saturday Gold Lotto||3961||06/07/2019||Gatton Plaza Newsagency||Gatton||Qld||$774,838.34|
|Saturday Gold Lotto||3967||27/07/2019||News Worx||Victoria Point||Qld||$1,000,000.00|
|TattsLotto||3999||16/11/2019||Nextra Eastlands Newsagency||Ringwood||Vic||$666,185.94|
|Saturday Lotto||4003||30/11/2019||Carnarvon Lottery News and Gifts||Carnarvon||WA||$587,926.00|
The Saturday Lotto $30 Million Megadraw, draw 4011, will take place on Saturday 28 December 2019.
Tickets can be purchased at any licensed lottery outlet, online from thelott.com or via the Lott mobile app.
In the 12 months to 30 June 2019, Monday & Wednesday Lotto and Saturday Lotto created 193 millionaires across Australia.
The Lott's division one winning tally across all Australian lottery games has now reached 360 so far this calendar year.
In the 12 months to 30 June 2019, there were 244 division one winning Saturday Lotto entries across the Lott's jurisdictions, which collectively won more than $286.6 million.
The home of Australia's Official Lotteries, the Lott operates and markets Australia's leading lottery games customers know and love creating everyday winners, winning every day.
In the 12 months to 30 June 2019, more than 108 million winners took home more than $3.28 billion in prize money from their favourite games at the Lott, including Saturday Lotto, Monday and Wednesday Lotto, Powerball, Oz Lotto, Set for Life, Lucky Lotteries, Keno, Super 66, Lotto Strike and Instant Scratch-Its.