Apparently, people in Iowa have so much money, that when they win $1 million from the Iowa Lottery they don't care if they claim it or not. It has been 3 months since someone in Iowa won a $1 million prize and they haven't claimed it. Luckily, they have 9 months to claim it, but statistics show that the prize most likely won't get claimed after a certain amount of time.

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On Monday, the Iowa Lottery wanted to remind everyone that a $1 million Mega Millions prize remains unclaimed. The winning ticket was sold in Ames and it's almost been three months since the ticket became a winner. With that being said, the Iowa Lottery reminds its players to double-check their tickets.

The $1 million-winning Mega Millions ticket was purchased at Gateway Expresse, 2400 University Blvd. in Ames, for the game’s drawing on September 6. It was the only ticket in the country that night to match the five white balls but miss the yellow Mega Ball to win at the game’s second prize level.

Even though the ticket was sold in Ames, the winner could be in the Quad Cities. On June 14th, we told you about a Rryan Claussen of Eldridge who won $100,000 on a scratch-off ticket while on a road trip with his dad. He bought that winning ticket at Casey's (1800 S. B Ave.) in Nevada.

IA Lottery
IA Lottery

The winner or winners of the $1 million prize have until the close of business on September 6, 2023, to claim it at Iowa Lottery headquarters in Clive.

The winning numbers in the Sept. 6 drawing were: 6-17-46-59-68 and Mega Ball 2. The Megaplier number was 4.

Gateway Expresse received a $1,000 bonus from the Iowa Lottery for selling the $1 million-winning ticket.

Eight Unclaimed Large Prizes

Besides the $1 million ticket, 8 other prizes ranging from $10,000 up to $250,000 also are unclaimed in Iowa. Here are details about the eight other sizeable lottery prizes in Iowa that also are unclaimed (listed by prize amount):


Prize Drawing

Amount won




Oct. 15, 2022


Murphy USA, Cedar Rapids

Oct. 16, 2023


Oct. 29, 2022


Floyd Food & Fuel, Sioux City

Oct. 30, 2023


Nov. 5, 2022


Hy-Vee C-Store, Sheldon

Nov. 6, 2023


Nov. 7, 2022


Casey's, Dubuque

Nov. 7, 2023


Nov. 5, 2022


K&Js Hop N Shop, Sabula

Nov. 6, 2023

Mega Millions

May 6, 2023


Gas & Goodies, Libertyville

May 8, 2023

Mega Millions

July 26, 2022


Kum & Go, Marion

July 26, 2023

Super 7s InstaPlay

Dec. 3, 2022


Haddy's, Center Point

March 3, 2023

People in Iowa apparently don't like to claim free money. The Iowa Lottery says that in the last fiscal year (FY 2022), more than $1.5 million in lotto and InstaPlay prizes expired in Iowa without being claimed.

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Time Appears To Be A Factor

The Iowa Lottery says they reviewed plays from a sampling of recent lotto drawings and found that the vast majority of prize claims occurred within six months of the drawing date. Less than 3 percent of prizes from those drawings were claimed after that point. The Iowa Lottery will continue to review how it can best encourage and remind players to claim their prizes.

What Happens To Unclaimed Money?

The money from lottery prizes that expire in Iowa without being claimed goes into the lottery's prize pools for future games and promotions, so it will be used to pay prizes, just not those prizes that have expired.

How Long Do People Have To Claim A Prize?

Players in Iowa have up to 365 days from the date of the drawing to claim prizes in Lucky for Life and Powerball, and up to 90 days from the date of purchase to claim prizes in InstaPlay games. However, if the expiration date falls on a weekend or holiday when the lottery’s offices are closed, the winner has until the close of business on the next business day to turn in the ticket.

If the winners have questions before coming forward to claim the prizes, they are welcome to call the lottery at 515-725-7900 or email to

The lottery currently offers prize claims by appointment at its offices. Full details are available on the lottery’s website here.

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