The Northwest Territories is enjoying an unprecedented year of lottery success – except people aren’t claiming huge wins.
Two wins each worth $1 million have yet to be claimed, lottery officials confirmed on Friday.
“Christmas has come early to somebody and they don’t even know it,” said NWT and Nunavut Lotteries’ Kelly Noseworthy.
In mid-November, a ticket with winning number 39597325-01 scooped a million-dollar Lotto 6/49 win.
That followed a Lotto MAX win on October 26, again worth $1 million, with winning numbers 5, 8, 11, 22, 39, 42 and 43.
Both tickets were bought in an NWT community other than Yellowknife. The territory’s lottery officials don’t know any more than that, and say nobody has yet come forward.
“It hasn’t been that long, it has only been since October. But it’s surprising for us that we haven’t heard anything,” said Noseworthy.
A $50,000 Lotto 6/49 win somewhere in the NWT also remains unclaimed. Noseworthy urged residents to check their tickets.
‘Really good year’
Even setting those two million-dollar wins to one side, NWT lottery players have won and claimed almost $1.4 million in prizes since April 1, 2018 – including a third, claimed million-dollar win.
Adding in the unclaimed money, the territory’s residents have seen $3.5 million in wins since April.
That makes 2018 a bumper year for the NWT. By comparison, a total of $5.5 million was won and claimed over the past five years stretching back to 2013.
“The Lotto MAX reaching $60 million and rolling over definitely has an impact on sales and how much money is generated,” said Noseworthy. “This has been a good year for that, and we’ve seen it in sales.
“Next year, they are going to up the cap to $70 million and it’ll be twice a week. So it’s only going to get even better.”
Increased ticket sales should also help sports and recreation in the territory, which receives funding through lottery revenues.
“We base what we give out on the previous year, so we can’t really tell every year. There are highs and lows,” said Noseworthy.
“This year has been a really good year and we hope it continues.”