Iowa Lottery Transitioning to Shorter Lotto Prize Redemption Period

(Radio Iowa) The Iowa Lottery has begun the process of transitioning from a 365-day to 180-day time limit for redeeming winning lotto tickets that was approved by the Lottery Board in December. Lottery spokesperson, Mary Neubauer, says 180 days is the standard for most lotteries in the country.

“That’s still approximately six months — gives you plenty of time, to make decisions, you know, consult a financial planner or a lawyer if you need to, but get into claim the prize. It makes the process more secure, because obviously, with the passage of time, it gets harder and harder for everyone to remember all of the details involved in a ticket purchase, or even to hang on to a ticket,” Neubauer says. The first step in the process is what’s called a step down, where the lottery gradually drops the limit on advance ticket purchases.

“The number of drawings for which you can buy plays in advance in Powerball, Mega Millions, Lotto America, Lucky for Life, will be limited and the number will become less and less as we get closer to that changeover date,” she says. Players are normally able to purchase tickets for ten straight drawings which could lead to several tickets with different expiration times.

“You might have a ticket that spanned multiple drawings, and some of those plays would have 365 days for you to claim the prize, and some of them would have 180 days,” Neubauer says. “That would be confusing for players and the lottery.” Neubauer says the step down allows them to make a good transition to the new time limit. She says it is a temporary change for those who like to buy several tickets in one stop.

“So I would just say to players, we know this is a bit of an inconvenience, please bear with us. It’s all part of this prize claim change that’s being made,” she says. “And by late April, everything will have gone back to normal and the prize claim change will have been made, and you’ll be able to buy tickets again for up to ten drawings in advance.” Neubauer says the impact of the change has a little bigger impact than other changes because the step-down is happening for four games.