NSW Late Claim
Last Updated: Thursday 22nd May 2008, 10:18 am
A New South Wales lottery winner has come forward to collect his $1.5 million prize almost five months after his numbers came up on Saturday 29 December, 2007. The man, who requested to remain anonymous, didn’t explain why he took so long to come forward, but simply said that the win wouldn’t change his lifestyle.
Unlike many other lottery companies that require winners to make a claim within a specified period of time, NSW Lotteries allows claims years after the win. A notable example of just how long some people wait to claim occurred in 1987, when a family in Sydney claimed a prize of $2,000 which was won in a draw held in 1950.
NSW Lotteries has a Players Club that automatically notifies winners of their success, but not everyone registers as a member, so plenty of prizes are still unclaimed.
“There are literally millions of dollars in unregistered prizes waiting to be claimed, and the winners are going about their lives with no inkling that they could claim their share of it,” said John Vineburg, the Communications Manager for NSW Lotteries.
“Most of the unclaimed prizes are worth less than fifty dollars and will probably never be picked up, but there are some big prizes waiting for the rightful owner to present a winning ticket,” he continued. “Top of the pile are a $3.3 million OZ Lotto prize still unclaimed from September 1997 and a $2 million Powerball prize unclaimed from October 2004.”
Kam Wong, who sold the winning ticket to the December 2007 winner, was thrilled that the he had finally come forward.
“I am very happy for him, it seems remarkable that he is to become a fully-fledged millionaire five months after it happened,” Kam said. “We thought at the time if he had been a member of Players Club he would have been contacted immediately. Still I am glad that one of my customers has been set up for life, good luck to him.”