Tuesday 2nd September 2014
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Lost Lottery Tickets

Question:

"I purchased lottery tickets for the next draw, but they have been thrown away in error or lost! We have details of the lottery numbers and would probably be able to find out where the tickets were purchased. Should our lotto numbers come up, what would our position be?"

Answer

If you know the place and time that you bought the tickets then there's a possibility that the lottery operator will pay out on lost tickets. However, you will see from the rules below that they are under no obligation to do so. It is advised that you contact the National Lottery help line on 08459 100 000 if believe you have lost your Lotto ticket. If it is within 30 days then the National Lottery will try and help you see if your ticket has won a prize, if you tell them the retailer in which you purchased the ticket and at roughly what time.

Your case will be strengthened if you know the numbers on the lost ticket (say you always play the same numbers), and/or if you know other items that you bought at the same time as the tickets.

Here's a couple of paragraphs from the official rules.

(5) After a Ticket has been issued the Player will be responsible for the safe custody and condition of that Ticket. Subject to Rule 4(M) and except in the case of Subscriptions, failure to produce a Ticket on claiming a Prize will result in refusal to pay the prize. Without limitation, the Player must take particular care to ensure that any Ticket issued by a Terminal is protected from excessive heat, direct sunlight and contact with any grease, oils or plastics, and no Ticket should be kept in any plastic wallet supplied by any Retailer or the Company for the purposes of protecting a Play Card.

(6) Neither the Company nor any Retailer will be responsible for loss, theft, mutilation, destruction or degradation of any Ticket or Play Card or for any errors or omissions in respect of any data recorded on any Ticket or Play Card or for any loss of whatever nature suffered or incurred by any person as a result of any such event or condition affecting a Ticket or Play Card.

And if anybody has your old lost lottery tickets (say they find them in the bin or picked them up from where you left them), and unless you've written your name and address on the back of the tickets, they become theirs along with any prizes they may win. We believe there are exceptions where theft or misappropriation can be proven, but that could be a long and arduous process.

Consider buying your lottery tickets online to avoid losing them.