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No one claimed a $2 million Powerball ticket in Texas—here's what happens to the money

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Time ran out for a lottery winner in College Station, Texas, on Thursday, who held a ticket worth $2 million.

The Quick Pick ticket matched all five white ball numbers for the October 27, 2018 drawing, though not the red Powerball number. Although the ticket holder had nearly six months to claim their prize, no one came forward by the April 25 deadline.

"A ticket holder forfeits any claim to a prize for a draw game after the expiration of the 180th day following the draw date," the Texas Lottery says. Deadlines may be extended for eligible members of the U.S. military.

So what happens to that $2 million?

"Unclaimed prizes revert back to the state for programs authorized by the Texas Legislature," a representative from the Texas Lottery Commission tells CNBC Make It.

In general, each of the 44 states that participate in lotteries, such as the Powerball and Mega Millions, decides independently what they want to do with unclaimed lotto money.

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In California, for example, unclaimed prizes go toward education. At the beginning of each fiscal year, the state estimates how much it expects to earn from lottery sales and designates a certain amount to go to schools, the L.A. Times reports. Additionally, "any unclaimed prize money is added to the amount already allocated."

Other states, including Florida and North Carolina, put a share of unclaimed prize money toward education, too. In Georgia, $200,000 of the cash goes toward the education and the treatment of gambling addiction annually. In Wisconsin, unclaimed money is used for property tax relief.

It's not uncommon for lottery winners to let their earnings expire. Between June 2016 and June 2017, nearly $3 billion in prize money went unclaimed, according to one expert's estimate.

Other lucky ticket holders nab their winnings just in time. On April 25, the same day the $2 million Powerball ticket went unclaimed in College Station, a resident of Lumberton, Texas, who chose to remain anonymous, came forward to claim a second-tier Powerball prize worth $1 million just hours before it was set to expire.

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