Bingo and Lottery Prizes
Nevertheless, there are plenty of cases of lucky winners who failed to step forward and claim what was rightfully theirs. In many of these cases, enough time passes for the prizes to expire, and in 2012, millions went unclaimed. In lottery games, the situation is quite depressing, because people who probably spend years trying to win a prize miss out on a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to get rich.
The authorities are going to great lengths to inform them about their good fortune and when nobody claims the prize, they try to find out who the winner is. Since they are bound to strict confidentiality policies, the search only begins after many months have passed, or when the deadline is drawing near. The idea is to give the winner enough time to come forward when he likes, without risking the prize to be forfeit. In many cases, their efforts pay off but there are situations when the money remains unclaimed and when this happens the jackpot is returned to the lottery which spends it on funding good causes.
The advantage of playing bingo or lottery games online is that this risk is mitigated since the online vendor also checks for lucky numbers and winners. They inform them in time about their good fortune, and except for massive payouts, the money is credited directly into their bank accounts. Bingo players are especially lucky because since their prizes are not excessively high they don't need to make any additional step after winning. The cash is automatically awarded and they can withdraw it right away on buy tickets.