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What happens in the event a National Lottery ticket is damaged?

Monday 25 January 2016, 12:16pm

According to the owner of a newsagent in Worcester, the “rather nervous” woman brought in a ticket with the winning numbers, but the date and barcode were faded.

So what happens next?

Lottery operator Camelot says that anyone who thinks they have a prize-winning ticket that may have been lost, stolen, destroyed or damaged must do the following in order for a claim to be considered at its discretion.

Contact them immediately in writing providing specific details relating to the ticket, such as the date, time and place it was bought from, the draw date, the numbers chosen or whether it was a Lucky Dip.

Outline what they think has happened to the ticket, ie, it got caught up in the wash.

Send in their notification to Camelot or a specific email address no later than 30 days after the relevant draw. Any claims received after this time will not be considered.

In the case of a damaged ticket, it must also be sent to Camelot.

How will Camelot make a decision on whether to pay out?

Once the claim has been received, Camelot at its discretion will investigate if “sufficient” information has been provided and consider if the claim is valid.

If it is deemed to be valid, the lottery operator can pay out the prize “within a reasonable time after the end of the claim period”.

The prize can be paid out up to 180 days after the draw date.

You think you may have won the lottery but your ticket has got caught up in the wash, so what can you do?

Damaged Lottery Tickets

You may still be able to claim prizes with a damaged lottery ticket or scratchcard, even if the retailer cannot scan the barcode. There’s a strict process in place for claiming prizes with damaged tickets – find out exactly how it works on this page.

To find out what happens if you lose a lottery ticket or you believe a winning entry has been stolen, see the Lost Lottery Tickets page.

How to Claim a Prize With a Damaged Ticket

If you have bought a lottery ticket from a retailer, it is your responsibility to keep it safe and come forward to claim any prizes you win. The National Lottery is not obliged to pay prize money out if a ticket cannot be validated, and rules state that entries must not be mutilated, altered, incomplete or unreadable.

If your lottery ticket won’t scan but looks undamaged, you should query the matter with the retailer. They may be able to resolve the issue or give you advice, and they always have to return a non-winning ticket if you ask. The next course of action is to submit a claim to the National Lottery.

You must submit claims no later than 5.00pm on the 30th day after the winning draw date for a claim to be considered.

Any investigation into the validity of your claim is undertaken at the discretion of the National Lottery, but if you fail to appeal within 30 days of the draw you will not be considered. There are a couple of different ways to claim:

Claims must be made either by post to:

Player Services Department,
The National Lottery,
PO Box 287,
Watford,
WD18 9TT

Or by email to: [email protected]

You can download a ‘search form’ – where you answer various questions about your ticket so that the National Lottery can carry out a search of their official records based on the information you provide. Alternatively, you can email or write your own message, but it must include the following information:

  • The date and exact time where you bought the ticket
  • The location and name of the store where you played
  • The name of the game, for example EuroMillions or Lotto, and the draw date(s) the ticket was valid for
  • The draw date on which you believe a prize was won
  • How many entries you bought and the numbers selected
  • What has happened to the ticket

You should include as much specific information as possible to help the National Lottery. If it is decided that the details you have provided are useful enough for an investigation to be launched, the National Lottery will look into whether your claim is valid.

If your claim is deemed to be valid, you may receive the prize after the 180-day claim period for that draw has come to an end. If someone else comes forward in the meantime and they are in possession of the winning ticket that is under investigation, they shall be regarded as the rightful winner subject to passing their own validation checks.

Play Online to Keep Entries Safe

A guaranteed way to keep your numbers safe is to take part online, as there is no paper entry that could get ripped in half, destroyed in the washing machine or accidentally thrown in the bin.

When you play online, you don’t have to remember to check the results as you will be notified by email if you win. You will be paid out automatically in most cases or informed how you should proceed if you need to claim your prize in person.

Damaged lottery tickets may still be used to claim prizes, even if the barcode cannot be scanned by a retailer or has been torn. Find out what steps you must take here. ]]>