Schools benefit from unclaimed lotto money

Mega lottery jackpots can make people millionaires overnight. But what happens when those prizes go unclaimed? 7&4 News went looking for the facts.

According to the Michigan Lottery, if no one comes forward to claim a prize prior to the expiration date, the prize money is transferred to the state School Aid Fund. In the case of a Mega Millions prize in which all Mega Millions states have contributed to funding of the prize, Michigan's allotted share of the prize money will be transferred to the School Aid Fund.

School leaders point out that this money does not create an extra source of revenue for schools. Instead, it alleviates the state TMs general fund by decreasing money taken out of that fund.

Lottery money that goes into the school fund means that for every dollar of lottery money that goes in...One less general fund dollar has to go in (to the school aid fund)...Most people are under the impression that the lottery gives us extra money and I think they need to understand the reality of the situation, said Suttons Bay Superintendent, Michael Murray.

Lottery officials said that unclaimed prizes are valid for a period of one year following the draw date.