Home / Q: What If You Miss the Deadline to Claim Your Lottery Prize?

Q: What If You Miss the Deadline to Claim Your Lottery Prize?

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A: It’s your worst nightmare: you realize you’re the winner of a multi-million dollar jackpot only to find out it’s past the deadline to claim your prize. But has this ever happened to anyone?

Unfortunately, yes. Meet Clarence “Inaction” Jackson – the man who went from having the best luck in the world to having the worst luck in the world. Clarence Jackson was a 23-year-old who’d taken over his family’s struggling office cleaning business from his ailing father. On October 13, 1995, the Connecticut Lottery picked the numbers on Jackson’s lotto ticket, making his family the winners of $5.8 million. Only he didn’t know it – and, despite a whole slew of lottery ads seeking the winner, he didn’t find out until 15 minutes (yes, 15 minutes!) before the one-year deadline to claim the prize.

He didn’t make it over in time, and lottery officials rejected his claim. In 1997, the Connecticut General Assembly voted to award Jackson the prize, but the state senate refused to go along. Up until 2004, Jackson was still trying each year to convince the legislature. And still losing, sadly enough.

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