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Can You Check Expired Powerball Tickets?

Have you ever discovered a forgotten Powerball ticket and wondered about its expiration date? Can you check an expired Powerball ticket for winnings?

Have you ever found yourself digging and rummaging through the pockets of an old coat or diving into compartments of a purse you haven’t carried in years? You’re subtly hoping to find a surprise, like a $20 bill or a lost earring. But what should you do should you happen to come across an old Powerball ticket? Should you get excited and take it in to see if it’s a winner? Or are there expiration dates on long-forgotten Powerball tickets?

A Timeline to Claim Your Prize

Because the game of Powerball is governed differently at the state and regional levels, some of the rules can vary. For example, there are some restrictions mandating waiting periods before a player can officially claim a Powerball prize. Sometimes it’s 15 days. In other states, it’s 60 days. But if the expired Powerball ticket you’re holding now is only a few weeks old, you’re likely still able to cash it in and claim your prize. That is, of course, if you have matching numbers that warrant a Powerball payout.

States Have Differing Expiration Guidelines, Too

Now, if you find a ticket that appears to be from a Powerball game a month or six months ago, you might have to contend with expiration dates. Again, municipalities will dictate official deadlines, but typical expiration dates can fall within 90 days to one year. You’ll want to check with your state Powerball officials to uncover what expiration date measures are in place, based on where you purchased your ticket.

Some states enforce a shorter, 90-day expiration policy, including New Mexico. Another 30 different states, including Texas, Florida, Missouri, and Arkansas, follow a 180-day timeline to claim a prize. And if you live in California, Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, New York, Pennsylvania, Vermont, Maine, or Oregon, you’ll have a whole year to come forward with your winning ticket.

It Doesn’t Hurt to Check

In some instances, you might find the fine print on your ticket outlining expiration dates. But in the big picture, it probably won’t hurt to just check it out anyway with your governing Powerball official office. If you remember where you purchased the ticket originally, you can also try to return to that retailing venue and have them scan your ticket. And before throwing away what you believe to be an old dud, don’t be afraid to go online and double-check the winning numbers for that drawing yourself. It might take a little extra investigative work now. But discovering you have a winning ticket within a designated timeframe to collect could make it all worth it.

Keep The Old Tickets Anyway

Before you toss out the old, non-winning Powerball ticket, consider this. There are some financial gurus out there who say to hang on to your non-winning Powerball tickets indefinitely. Technically, you can’t use past Powerball losing plays as a tax write-off. However, if you ever win a Powerball prize, the costs of all those saved, non-winning tickets can help offset your taxable earnings in collecting the prize. Who knows? Having a shoebox full of unproven Powerball tickets might save a few extra bucks when it’s your turn to win!

If you regularly play Powerball or if you often play more than one game at a time, it’s not entirely implausible to think that you might just misplace one of those tickets from time to time. Just remember, when you do find it, don’t toss it right away. You might still be able to collect a little something, of course, depending on just how old it is and where you call home. And you never know. It could even be a jackpot winner! How’s that for a hidden gem in an old coat pocket!