Lawmakers scramble for unclaimed lottery prizes

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Associated Press

Posted on February 27, 2013 at 3:35 PM

Updated Wednesday, Feb 27 at 4:00 PM

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — State lawmakers across the country are scrambling to snatch up unclaimed lottery prizes for their pet causes.

Most state lotteries were founded in the name of funding public schools. After the prize deadlines lapse, lottery commissions generally put the money toward future prizes or general state revenues.

Not for long.

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.

And in Texas, where the 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 restoration of a historic battleship.

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