Tax Code of Virginia
Code Section:58.1-4020
Tax Type:General Provisions
Brief Description:Unclaimed prizes
Topics:Clarification; Constitutional Provisions; Statute of Limitations

58.1-4020. Unclaimed prizes.

A. Unclaimed prizes for a winning ticket or share shall be retained by the Director for the person entitled thereto for 180 days after the drawing in which the prize was won in the case of a drawing prize and for 180 days after the announced end of the lottery game in the case of a prize determined in any manner other than by means of a drawing. If no claim is made for the prize within the 180 days, the Director shall deem such prize forfeited by the person entitled to claim such winnings.

B. All prizes deemed forfeited pursuant to subsection A shall be paid into the Literary Fund. The Director may develop procedures, to be approved by the Auditor of Public Accounts, for estimating the cumulative total of such unclaimed prizes in any lottery game in lieu of specifically identifying unclaimed prizes where such specific identification would not be cost effective. The Director, within sixty days after the end of each 180-day retention period, shall report the total value of prizes forfeited at the end of such period to the Comptroller, who shall promptly transfer the total of such prizes to the Literary Fund. The total value of prizes forfeited during the fiscal year shall be audited by the Auditor of Public Accounts in accordance with 58.1-4023. In the case of a prize payable over time on one or more winning tickets, if one or more winning tickets is not claimed within the 180-day redemption period, the Department shall transfer the then current monetary value of such portion of the prize remaining unclaimed to the Literary Fund in accordance with procedures approved by the State Treasurer. "Current monetary value" shall be determined by the net proceeds from the sale of that portion of jackpot securities allocated to the unclaimed winner plus the amount of the initial cash payment.

C. Subsection B of this section shall not apply to prizes of twenty-five dollars or less resulting from any lottery game other than a lottery game in which a drawing determined the prize. The Board shall adopt regulations for the disposition of all such unclaimed prizes of twenty-five dollars or less not resulting from a drawing. Such disposition shall be directed in whole or in part to either the State Lottery Fund or to other forms of compensation to licensed sales agents.

D. For purposes of this section, "prize" refers to a cash prize. In the case of a prize payable over time and not as a lump sum payment, "prize" means the present cash value of the prize, not the value paid over time.

E. In accordance with the provisions of the Soldiers' and Sailors' Civil Relief Act of 1940 (50 App. U.S.C.A. 525), any person whose unclaimed prize was deemed forfeited pursuant to subsection A while he was in active military service may claim such forfeited prize by presenting his winning ticket to the Director no later than 180 days after his discharge from active military service. Within thirty days of such presentation, the Director shall verify the claim and report the verification to the Comptroller. The Comptroller shall promptly pay the verified claim first from funds available in the Unclaimed Property Trust Fund in 3-2.00 of the general appropriations act; if such funds are insufficient, then, from any undesignated, unreserved year-end balance of the general fund. All verified claims shall be paid in accordance with the Board's rules and regulations then in effect regarding the manner of payment of prizes to the holders of winning tickets or shares.

(1987, c. 531; 1989, c. 478; 1992, c. 449; 1994, c. 49; 1996, c. 975.)