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Tuesday, December 18, 2018

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A MONTH AND STILL THE $55M AUSTRALIAN POWERBALL PRIZE REMAINS UNCLAIMED

A month has passed and still we are no nearer knowing just who won the $55m Australian Powerball jackpot in the draw held on January 11.

We do know that the winning ticket was sold in Melbourne in the state of Victoria, but incredibly no one has come forward to claim their fantastic prize. Perhaps the lucky winner is being like Carl Szott from Pittsburgh, USA, who wanted everything to be right before claiming his $149m Mega Millions win.

The ticket that won the $55m Australian Powerball jackpot was sold at the Brunswick Scole Lotto & News store. Australian Powerball spokeswoman Bronnie Spencer says the lucky winner has six months to claim their winnings. If that doesn’t happen, then the $55m windfall will be handed over to Victoria’s State Revenue Office to be used for general government purposes and also earn interest.

Under Victorian state law, the Australian Powerball winner has an indefinite period to claim their winnings from the government so the wait for a winner to come forward could be a lot longer but still have a happy ending.

The different Australian states have differing rules over claiming prizes. In Queensland, winners have seven years to claim their winnings before the government keeps it for good. Last year a man from Queensland took a month to discover he had a $10m winning Australian Powerball ticket in his wallet.

It’s six years in Sydney but just a year in South Australia with Tasmania and Northern Territory sharing the Victorian rule. A woman from New South Wales carried a $2.7m jackpot winning Australian Lotto ticket in her handbag for 12 days before claiming her prize.

Ms Spencer said Tatts Lottery was “trying to spread the word far and wide”, while store owner Sam Misiano had been “very proactive about getting the word out” by sharing the search on social media platforms. That’s despite waiting for the $55m Australian Powerball winner to come forward causing him plenty of stress.

The Australian Powerball spokesperson added that it’s not unusual for large jackpot wins not to be claimed immediately. When jackpots are high, “infrequent players” try their luck on draws and they often are “more inclined to not believe they could ever be the winner of a major prize,” so perhaps that could be the case here. In the USA, Andrew Norberg from Connecticut had no idea his Powerball ticket had won him $1m.

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