BCLC gives one full year from draw date for winners to claim their prizes. After this, the tickets will expire and winners are no longer winners.
From the last 10 years, it has been reported that more than $20M lottery prizes had expired. BCLC exerts effort in trying to reach to winners who have unclaimed tickets. In an attempt to save an expiring $1 million winning ticket that was to expire last January, BCLC went to media. The winning ticket was bought from Victoria, B.C area. Unfortunately, this was not claimed and is now a fraction of the $20M expired prizes. Most of unclaimed prizes are in small amounts and it is very seldom for winnings from $10,000 and up to expire.
As of this time, unclaimed winnings include two tickets that are worth more than $350,000 combined. These winnings are from Lotto Max ticket which is more than $100,000 and the other one is a Lotto 6/49 which is more than $250,000, both tickets were purchased from Richmond.
BCLC announces winning tickets based on the location where it was bought. And, it usually helps in calling the attention of the winners to check their tickets. Moreover, BCLC uses the media to make announcements for when unclaimed prizes are set to expire.
The expired prizes from national games are returned back into the prize pool and are used to support their promotions. On the other hand, expired prizes from regional games are given to the government.