AUSTIN (February 27, 2013)--Lawmakers in Texas and other states across the country are scrambling to snatch up unclaimed lottery prizes to bolster funding for pet causes.
Most state lotteries were founded ostensibly to generate funds for public education, and after the prize deadlines lapse, lottery commissions generally put the money toward future prizes or general state revenues.
In Texas, where the unclaimed total amounts to less than a rounding error in the state's proposed two-year budget of $88.9 billion, the proposed beneficiaries include the effort to restore a historic battleship.
In Albany, a New York Senate committee is considering a proposal to transfer unclaimed prizes to a summer reading program known as the Love Your Library Fund.
In Wyoming, lawmakers have been shading a new lottery law to shift unclaimed prize money among assorted social needs or maladies.