Damaged Lottery Tickets
If your ticket or scratchcard barcode cannot be scanned by your local retailer, and there are no visible signs of damage, then you should first ensure there are no issues with the lottery terminal. An employee should be able to advice you on any error messages displayed, or if there is another lottery retailer nearby you can see if you can successfully claim your prize there instead.
The most commonly reported damages are:
- Rips and Tears - tickets can get caught in bags or pockets causing the numbers or barcode to become torn.
- Water Damage - typically caused by a trip through the washing machine. This can be more severe as the ink can run making the text unreadable, or in worst case scenarios the ticket will be destroyed completely.
If your ticket has been lost or stolen rather than damaged, then you can get more information on what to do next here.
How to Claim Prizes
Even if your ticket is damaged or destroyed, you may still be able to make a valid claim by filing an appeal within 30 days of the draw date.
You will need to provide the following information:
- The date, time and location where the ticket was purchased.
- The game e.g. EuroMillions or Lotto, and draw date, the ticket was purchased for
- The date you believe a prize was won
- How many entries you purchased and the numbers included in each
- How you think the ticket was damaged/destroyed
The appeal can be sent via post or email.
Player Services Department
The National Lottery
PO Box 287
If requested, you may also be required to send the damaged ticket to the postal address above. It is advised that you do so using a recorded service.
Keep Your Numbers Safe
You can avoid any worries by entering lotteries online, as then entries cannot be lost, stolen or damaged. If you win a prize, you’ll be notified via email so that you never miss out on a claim. Find out more about playing online.
Folding your ticket, or writing your signature as proof of ownership, should not cause any damage. It is recommended though that you avoid placing your signature over the barcode.
Please note, the Health Lottery state in their terms and conditions that they do not pay out prizes for damaged tickets.