Ignorance is bliss - or at least hopefully for the person who failed to claim a $250,000 Powerball prize from the Michigan Lottery.

The official hours are 7:45am to 4:45pm at Michigan Lottery Headquarters. As of 4:46 Thursday afternoon, the winner of a ticket sold on January 10th of 2018 at Cleary’s Pub on Grand River in downtown Howell did not come forward to claim their big prize. It matched four white balls and the Powerball for a $50,000 prize. But thanks to the Powerplay, the prize was multiplied by five for a total prize of $250,000. The winning numbers were 7, 24, 33, 49 and 50 with a Powerball of 4. However, the prize had to be claimed at the Lottery’s headquarters in Lansing by 4:45pm. Because it was not, the money will go to the state School Aid Fund.

Michigan Lottery Spokesman Jeff Holyfield tells WHMI the vast majority of players are very diligent in checking their tickets and winners usually come in to claim the big prizes. He says with big prizes, people tend to pay attention and they do try to give players as much time as possible. For draw games, tickets are good for one year while instant game winnings expire after two years. Holyfield says roughly 99% of prizes are claimed by players every year. In fiscal year 2018, there was $27 (M) million in unclaimed prizes - compared to $2.2 (B) billion that players won and claimed. The largest unclaimed prize in Michigan Lottery history was $34 (m) million, with the ticket being sold out of a Meijer store in East Lansing in 1997.

Holyfield noted that 2018 was the fourth record year for the Michigan Lottery, providing $941 (m) million for the school aid fund. Since the lottery began in 1972, Holyfield says more than $22 (B) billion has gone to support schools and kids across the state. (JM)