Unclaimed Lottery Prizes Equal Millions Lost

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AUSTIN (AP) - Before you lose track of that old lottery ticket, consider this: Texas lottery players have left behind $449 million in unclaimed prizes since the state began tracking them in 1995.

Most of the unclaimed money was smaller prizes, but five of them were Lotto jackpot winners worth a combined $46.4 million. That includes a $7 million winning ticket sold in April in Terrell that expired in October.

A lottery spokeswoman says Texas players have 180 days from the date of a Lotto Texas drawing or the closure of a scratch-off game to claim their winnings

The unclaimed prizes are split between the state's general fund and a program to pay for indigent health care.