a. No prize claim shall be valid if submitted to the division following the expiration of a one-year time period from the date of the drawing or from the close of the game in which a prize was won, and the person otherwise entitled to such prize shall forfeit any claim or entitlement to such prize moneys. Unclaimed prize money, plus interest earned thereon, shall be retained in the lottery prize account to be used for payment of special lotto or supplemental lotto prizes offered pursuant to the plan or plans specified in this article, or for promotional purposes to supplement other games on an occasional basis not to exceed sixteen weeks within any twelve month period pursuant to the plan or plans specified in this article.
In the event that the director proposes to change any plan for the use of unclaimed prize funds or in the event the director intends to use funds in a game other than the game from which such unclaimed prize funds were derived, the director of the budget, the chairperson of the senate finance committee, and the chairperson of the assembly ways and means committee shall be notified in writing separately detailing the proposed changes to any plan prior to the implementation of the changes.
b. The division may determine that a prize has been abandoned whenever more than eighteen months have elapsed since a prize payment check was mailed to the last known address of the claimant and either such check has been returned undelivered by the United States postal service and the claimant cannot be located or such check has not been returned undelivered and has not been presented for payment. Any prize so determined to have been abandoned shall be paid to the state comptroller pursuant to section thirteen hundred fifteen of the abandoned property law .
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