The One Important Powerball Fact You Should Know, Even Though You Didn’t Win The $1.5 Billion

Maybe you're not going home $1.5 billion richer this week, but hold onto that Powerball ticket. Just because you didn't choose all five numbers correctly with the matching Powerball doesn't mean that you didn't win — just that you're not the jackpot winner. That's because there are lots of other prizes up for grabs besides the big one. And according to one lotto expert, there are about $2 billion worth of unclaimed prizes each year. So please review those numbers one more time before tossing the ticket.

Brett Jacobson told CNN that in his development of an app called Lotto Lotto (which will alert you if you win), he requested information from different state lotteries to see how many prizes went uncollected. "People don't even realize there are secondary prizes," he told CNN. In weeks like this, when there's more hype around the jackpot, even more prizes go unclaimed, because no one checks the other winning combinations.

Powerball, the game everyone has been playing this week, has a mix of prizes other than the jackpot, which start at $4 and run up to $1 million. We know there were at least three jackpot winners, from California, Florida, and Tennessee — which probably excludes you. But why throw away your chance at even $4? That's a free Starbucks (probably). And only a crazy person would throw away an entry worth $1 million. That could pay off your student loan debt, along with that of some of your friends. You could buy a house in much of the country. And so on and so forth.

So please check your ticket for the other combinations. You probably won't regret it. And if you won $1 million, you'll be very, very happy.

Image: Powerball