Check Lottery Tickets Yourself… Or Else!

Checking lottery tickets with woman behind the ticket counter

Here’s a timely warning. Always check winning lottery tickets yourself.

Most lottery retailers are honest decent people. And they get a real buzz when their store creates a big lottery winner.

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Check Lottery Tickets Yourself… Or Else!

244 Comments so far ↓

  • Dianna

    I have a question. I took a multi draw lottery ticket in and I think I checked all the dates. I had won small amounts several times, but when I cashed it there was a note the clerk had to read. Then he gave me $28.00. Is there a note on the screen for the clerk if it’s a larger winner?

  • C Newby

    Hello, I bought a $5 crossword ticket and scratched off 7 words so I should have won $100. Well I scanned the ticket with my phone and it said $25. I got to the store and he scans it and he says $25. Well I looked my ticket over many times and it is correct, I should have won $100, I scratched 7 words correctly. On the prize key there is not even an option to win $25, what can I do?

    • LG

      It could be a mistake – it happens sometimes. I’d recommend either calling the claims/customer service phone number (probably on the back of the ticket somewhere, or on their website if not), or send in a claim form and claim for $100.

  • Kell

    Why does my winner print out pack not cashable?

  • Beverly Walters

    Is it OK for some retailers not to have a self scanner for your tickets and also have their machine hidden from view so the consumer cannot see the actual results of their ticket?

    • LG

      It’s not ideal 🙂 , but most lottery companies machines do play a sound when a winning ticket is scanned.

      They probably aren’t breaking any rules with this set-up, but I’d just use a different retailer.

    • Andy Abbott

      Here in Florida they should have the screen visible to the customer and it should show the winning prize as well has hearing the Cha Ching sound. I have been places where the Cha Ching is almost silent so I asked them to turn up the sound because they have an option to turn it up or down. I usually take my tickets to a grocery store like Publix.

    • Andy Abbott

      On the Florida website it gives the instructions for the retailer and they should have a customer scanner visible with a screen and the cha ching chime should sound. I also know here if the ticket is a claimer and the clerk scans it the ticket won’t show how much the ticket wins but we can scan it on the customer checker and it will show what the prize is.

  • Vena Lorick

    I had won $2 from two scratch offs but when the store clerk scanned the ticket he said I only won a dollar. How is that possible if it was a $2 scratch off ticket? I can understand if it was a dollar ticket, but a $2 ticket only winning a dollar. Very confused!

    • LG

      That does sound odd. Which state and game was it?

      • Vena Lorick

        Columbia, SC – the ticket was two ways to win matching the numbers with the winning numbers or getting three like prizes.

      • LG

        I think you mean ‘2 FOR 2’? Which is a $2 ticket (it also says ‘2 Ways To Play’ and 2 Ways To Win’ on the ticket). If so, that definitely does NOT have a $1 prize level. So whilst this could be a genuine mistake, it does sound a little bit suspicious.

        I would suggest calling the lottery company to say what happened and tell them you’re concerned you may have won a bigger prize and not been paid. Nobody is going to steal $1 on a lottery ticket, but there’s a small chance you could have won more than the $2 you thought. If you can tell them where and when (day and time) this happened it will help them a lot to look into it.

        Let us know what happens?

  • Betr

    So if I put clear nail polish on the bar code will it still read it and do all stores have a scanner?

  • Michael Shubin

    About a $3 crossword scratcher – it said file claim form but I’m still waiting on it. I’ve been reading all these posts so I don’t know but it’s been a month and 7 days… I’ll repost if award comes or not.

  • Julie

    Hello. I played a scratch off that, from what I can tell, was just a $5 winner. I scanned the barcode via the lottery app and it came up as “claim at lottery”? I have mailed it to the claim headquarters (I contacted someone within the lottery office via email and asked what that meant and all they could/would tell me was that I needed to mail them the ticket along with a claim form) but I was wondering if anyone else has ever experienced this? Thank you.

    • LG

      This is quite common. It could mean you’ve won more than you think (which does happen), but this kind of claim at lottery/see retailer message most likely means the roll hasn’t been activated by the retailer. But hopefully it’s happier news – let us know what happens?

    • Liberty Ortiz

      Yes it happened to me in $20 scratchies. I’ve been talking to them and they said a lot of things, but I made a copy of all our conversations. And I just mailed it but until now I never heard anything yet, because of this covid situation. So I’m still waiting their response when everything is okay. The ticket said file form and see retailer but they can’t even say if it works or not in the main office. It’s weird, I bought 3 and rest said it’s non winning but other one said file claim form so I told them it’s activated. So let’s wait and see if it’s the jackpot. Thank you, hope this helps.

  • Cory Jay

    How are people playing the lottery and then not knowing if they’ve won or not..? What you do is 1) read on the ticket about how you play the game, 2) scratch the ticket (not too hard and not if it got wet, let it dry 1st), 3) check if you’re a winner by referring to step 1). Follow those simple steps and you won’t sound like a dummy on here asking “how much did I win?”. And if you’re buying scratch offs and you can’t tell if you’ve won or not without scanning it… then you need to find yourself a different hobby for real.

  • Laura Sanchez

    I just got ten Crossword tickets and some are winners, but I scanned them with my phone and it told me the pack is not cashable, so what can I do? Am I just out 20 dollars.

    • LG

      Try again at a store. If it still doesn’t work, either go to a main lottery office or just mail in a claim form.

    • Andy Abbott

      It is possible the pack was not activated – this happened to me on a pack I bought. When I went to cash them it said not active. I took them back to the place I bought them with the receipt and the barcode that came with the pack and they activated them. The guy said he must have got excited when I came in and bought the whole $900 dollar pack. It was no problem.

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