The thrill, excitement and anticipation of playing the lottery and possibility of winning a massive jackpot is what attracted you to play your favourite game. While picking your lucky lottery numbers, you can’t help but dream of everything you’ll buy and the exhilarating adventures you’ll embark on with your millions.
Now imagine that incredible feeling of seeing your chosen lucky numbers being drawn live and realising you’re about to become the next instant millionaire. Only for that feeling to be short-lived once you realise that you’ve misplaced your winning lottery ticket.
Every year, millions of lottery prizes go unclaimed because players forget to check if their lucky numbers have matched a draw. However, in some instances, players don’t come forward to claim their prizes as they’ve lost their lottery jackpot ticket.
The only realistic chance of claiming your lottery jackpot winnings, if you’ve lost your winning ticket, is if you signed your name at the back of the card. Or hopefully, someone returns it to you; otherwise, it will be challenging to prove your claim.
If you happen to have lost your winning lottery ticket here's what you need to do:
What to do when you’ve lost your winning lottery ticket
It is much easier keeping a track record of an online or digital lottery ticket. But, with a regular winning paper lottery ticket, it is challenging to find it when it could be just lying around.
Your chances of claiming your lottery jackpot prize on a lost valid ticket are similar to that of winning the grand prize. Each lottery game has different guidelines, but all have one common rule, you are solely liable for your lottery tickets.
Lotteries do not take up the responsibility of paying out on lost winning lottery tickets. You can still claim your lottery jackpot prize if you do find your winning lottery ticket, as long as you don’t wait too long.
There are a few lotteries that will make exceptions such as the UK Lottery, who will grant you 30 days to launch an appeal. In the appeal process, you’ll have to prove ownership by correctly identifying where and when you purchased the lottery ticket.
It would also be helpful to be able to recall the lucky numbers you played and provide specific information about your lottery ticket’s purchase. However, here’s the catch: an appeal is not a guarantee that you’ll get your lottery jackpot winnings.
While the rules vary from one lottery game to the other, lotteries allow for players to redeem their winning lottery tickets within a specified period. This period is usually between 180 to 365 days after the draw or the official end date of the lottery game.
The winning lottery ticket will be rendered null and void when the window period to claim the lottery closes. Thus, the prize monies will be donated to charities and other good causes.
How to claim your lost winning lottery ticket
If you don’t have your physical winning ticket in hand, claiming your lottery jackpot winnings will be challenging. Before the lottery game provider hands over your winnings, they’ll require you furnish them with a lot of information about your lost winning ticket.
To claim your lost winning lottery ticket, here are a few things you can do;
Contact the lottery company
The best course of action to take after you suspect you’ve lost your winning lottery ticket is to contact the lottery game provider through email or via phone. They’ll ask you specific questions regarding your proof of purchase.
By visiting the lottery provider’s website, you’ll find unclaimed winning prizes, and they’ll reveal the regions where the winning lottery ticket was bought. An announcement will usually take place two weeks after the draw if the lottery jackpot is still unclaimed.
Give accurate information
Your information that you provide to the lottery provider ought to be as accurate as possible. It will include the time and date of the purchase, the number of lines played, draw date you entered and when you think you lost your ticket. You can also give them any other information you think will help.
Additionally, the information you’ve submitted should match with that of your lottery game provider. If you’re the actual lottery jackpot winner, you can claim your windfall within the 180-day window.
This window period allows the lottery game provider to assess other players who might claim the same prize. After the 30 days have elapsed, you can claim your lottery jackpot prize only if you’ve got a valid winning ticket.
If someone found your winning lottery ticket without your name on it, they can claim the lottery jackpot prize at any store that participates in the lottery. However, should the lottery prize be of a significant amount, the finders-keepers will need to claim directly from the lottery operator.
They’ll be asked a few questions mainly for marketing purposes. At their discretion, the lottery operator can decide whether they’ll scrutinise the claims and payout the lottery jackpot winnings.
How to avoid losing your lottery ticket
When you’ve won either one of these massive jackpots, losing your winning lottery ticket can be devastating.
So, this is what you need to do in case that happens.
Sign the back of your lottery ticket
After purchasing your lottery ticket, you should ensure that you sign it. In some jurisdictions, the law states that the lottery can only payout the winnings to the person whose name is written on the winning ticket.
A good rule of thumb that you need to remember is that signing the back of your lottery ticket acts as proof that you’re the actual owner. Should someone find your ticket, they’ll be able to return it to you or return it to the lottery operator.
If no one comes to claim the lottery jackpot prize, the next eligible winner will be the person who found the lottery ticket. A signed ticket, however, is not a guarantee that you’ll get it back. It is a measure to ward off anyone who finds it from profiting on your luck.
Do not keep your lottery tickets in your pocket for a long time. Keeping it in your pockets increases the risk it will get washed, damaging it and making it impossible to claim your lottery jackpot winnings.
Keep the ticket in a safe place
You must keep your lottery tickets in a drawer in your bedroom or a secure place that’s easy for you to remember where you placed them. Avoid storing your ticket in areas that can damage it as you might not be able to claim your lottery jackpot with a torn ticket.
What happens if you lose a winning lottery ticket
For many of us, we can only imagine what it feels like to put our hard-earned money playing our favourite lottery and winning the life-changing lottery jackpot.
Winning that massive lottery jackpot gives you a new lease of life, ushering in a moment of joy, excitement and anticipation. Conversely, realising that you’ve lost your winning lottery ticket can be very upsetting.
If you think you’re the first to lose your winning lottery ticket, you’re not alone. Many lottery players feel a sense of despair after losing their lottery tickets.
The million-dollar question is if no one claims the lottery jackpot money, where does it all go? Some lotteries use the unclaimed lottery jackpot monies for future lottery games, while others channel it to education funds with some given back to the community.
With Lotto247, you’ll not miss out on the chance of claiming your life-changing lottery jackpot. Your ticket will be mailed to you and stored safely in your online account. Should you win, one of our friendly and professional customer support agents will contact you by phone or via email to talk you through the payout process.
Get peace of mind knowing that you’ll never lose your lottery tickets again by buying your tickets online at Lotto247 today. Play now!