Iowa Lottery votes to shorten prize-claim periods for winners

(ABC 6 News) – The Iowa Lottery Board voted on Tuesday to shorten the amount of time winners have to claim their prizes.

The board says the change is an effort to focus on prizes that expire without being claimed.

Currently, Iowans have a full calendar year, 365 days, for a player to claim their prize following the drawing date. Lottery officials say that time will shorten to 180 days sometime in the first quarter of the calendar year 2023.

Iowa is currently one of 14 U.S. lotteries with a 365-day deadline, while 33 U.S. lotteries require prizes to be claimed within 180 days, or 6 months.

Officials say the change has no monetary benefit to the Iowa Lottery: Under state law, the money from prizes that expire in Iowa without being claimed, go back through the lottery’s prize pools for future games and promotions. In the past three fiscal years, the annual total in Iowa Lottery prizes that expired without being claimed ranged from about $1.3 million to more than $1.7 million.

Iowa Lottery staff recommended the prize-claim change after one year of research that said the vast majority of claims occurred within 6 months of the draw date, and that less than 3% of prizes were claimed after 180 days.

Officials say they will provide notice to players as the 2023 change date approaches.