An $853,492 powerball lottery ticket expired unclaimed yesterday.
Seems like this is a pretty regular occurrence. Each year millions of dollars in unclaimed lottery money goes back to the states hosting the lottery (or in the case of powerball, selling the winning ticket).
It’s not even small lottery winnings that people don’t claim. In 2003 a $30 Million winning Powerball ticket in Indiana went unclaimed.
People buy lottery tickets then lose them, accidentally dispose of them or just plain forget about them. People who buy lottery tickets are usually in the habit of collecting them.
I can just imagine a scenario where I’ve just purchased a ticket, hop back into my car and toss the ticket on the seat next to me with my cell phone and wallet, then take off and woosh! Right through the sunroof goes the ticket!
I could imagine that scenario if I bought a ticket, which I never do, but it got me thinking…do I win lotteries all the time and not notice?
Maybe lottery winnings go unclaimed because the winners unconsciously believe that they are losers, and will never win, so they never bother to check their tickets. Perhaps their unconscious mindset predisposes them to miss their chance at the winning lotto.
How many lotteries do I win every day, and don’t claim because of my mindset? Or because I’m not aware? Because I don’t bother to look at the numbers?
If I am talking with a customer, and don’t attempt a repeat sale or upsell, am I not checking my winning numbers?
If I am at a live event and don’t walk away with a joint venture, have I tossed my ticket out the sunroof?
The thing about live events is they are like cocktail parties. They are loud, busy, and with lots of visual stimulus. And just like at a cocktail party where your brain filters out the extraneous sounds so you can hear the person who is talking to you, there is lots of visual stimuli going on around you that your brain also filters out. The brain eliminates much of the data coming in from the eye simply from an inability to process it into the conscious mind.
But our eyes and ears take in the information. Deals happen all around you, partnerships are formed, people are taking action, opportunities present themselves…yet our brain is only able to handle a few things at a time…and most of the activity around us gets ignored like the lottery ticket in the dresser drawer.