During April, the Iowa Lottery is transitioning to a shorter time limit for redeeming winning tickets from multi-state games. The Lottery approved reducing the time limit to 180 days from 365 days at a meeting last December. The games include Powerball, Mega Millions, Lotto America and Lucky for Life.
After reviewing prize claims, Lottery staff found that the majority of claims occurred within six months of the drawing date. It appeared that more than 97% of claims for prizes happened before 180 days had expired. Also, most states have set a 180-day limit for redemption.
Stepdown process is happening in April
The Iowa Lottery includes several in-state and multi-state games, but players are still not able to purchase tickets online. There is, however, a lot of helpful information on the Iowa LotteryPlus app.
In April, a stepdown process will reduce the limit on advance ticket purchases of multi-state games. Players will be limited by the number of advance tickets they can buy throughout the month. Normally, players have been able to purchase tickets for 10 straight drawings. The stepdown will transition all the expiration times. By the end of April, the expiration change will be made, and players will be able to again purchase up to 10 drawings in advance.
The Iowa Lottery offered two more reasons for shortening the redemption period.
- Passage of time could cause players to lose or toss out their ticket.
- As time passes, it may be more difficult to accurately recall the details of the ticket purchase and give information to validate the purchase.
Prize claim periods for other lottery products remain the same
Redemption periods on all other Lottery games will remain the same.
- Iowa-specific games are valid for 90 days from the date of the drawing.
- Scratch game tickets are valid for 90 days from the end of the game.
- Pull-tab games are valid for 90 days from the end of the game.
- InstaPlay game tickets are valid for 90 days from the date of purchase.
Currently, 33 lotteries require players to claim prizes from multi-state games within 180 days. After the change in Iowa, there will be just 13 states with a 365-day claim period.