Sure, I’ll Take That $23 Million

Imagine for a minute, one gloomy afternoon you’re walking outside and see a lottery ticket on the ground. It is weathered, torn at edges and crumbled just enough to make you walk right by it. However, curiosity doesn’t let you move until you pocket it. You go about your day and think nothing of it.

Crumbled LotteryLater that evening you watch your favorite TV show next to your significant other and doze off ever so slightly.

The late night news comes on and the anchors are talking about sports – you don’t care. You’re ready to go to bed.

Just before turning off the TV you are startled by a headline: “Lottery winner of $23 million jackpot sought.” They mention your area.

You know you didn’t buy any tickets so you click the remote and head on over to bed. Then you pause.

You remember the ticket you picked up earlier today and can’t help but wonder, what if…

While powering up your iPad in the pitch black room, a million thoughts run through your mind:

  • What if I won?
  • What will I do with the money?
  • Will I bother going to work tomorrow?
  • What will I buy first?
  • Who will be the first to hear of this?

Your eyelids are heavy, you’re ready to pass out into the night, but you have to know what if…

The screen is loaded, the numbers match. It’s a winning ticket!

Wouldn’t That Be Nice?

Millions of dollars go unclaimed in lottery winnings. A few days ago, $23 million was left unclaimed in a nearby area. On the day after Christmas last year, $77 million was left unclaimed in Georgia. That would have been a nice Christmas present! Another $16m in Iowa.

The list goes on and on.

I don’t have an unhealthy fascination with the lottery. I certainly don’t look for tickets on the ground either. In fact, if I were to win the lottery, I would save the winnings quietly without changing my lifestyle.

One question does linger in my mind:

Why do people fail to claim their winnings?

Is it possible the ticket was lost? What are the odds of winning a Powerball and losing the ticket? Did they simply forget about it? Perhaps the story behind that ticket is much deeper, involving a sinister plot from a horror movie where a jealous family member or friend try to murder the (un)lucky bastard to claim their winnings?

Ok, the last one would make a fascinating story!

Whatever the reason, it leaves hope that one day I may be able to walk down the street on a gloomy afternoon, and find a lotto ticket worth $23 million dollars because someone had left it unsigned and unclaimed.

Update: The lotto winner was found after a televised search. It turns out the woman had forgotten about the ticket. She drove around for 5 months with $23 million dollars in her dashboard.


What would you do if you found an unclaimed winning lottery ticket worth millions? Better yet, if it were signed – would you try to claim it as your own signature or find its rightful owner?