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 ↓

  • Jessica Lamberto

    Hi I took my Powerball tickets into a local gas station today October 21st 2017. One of my tickets I scanned said see clerk. I gave her the ticket she scanned it and said it’s not a winner. What does that mean when it says ‘see clerk’? Thank you

    • Steven

      Always ask for the ticket back. Today, I went into an agent, that had no customer self scanner, I said no thanks and left. I never give an unknown ticket to a clerk.

  • Scot

    In Illinois I think I was scammed – the scanning machine message was to see the clerk. When she scanned the ticket she said it was a dollar winner. I didn’t think anything of it at the time, but I have won a dollar on a ticket and it always said it on the machine. Any thoughts?

    • LG

      Maybe, but maybe not. It’s always best to either play the game (scratchers) or check your numbers by hand too (draw games) so you already know how much you’ve think you’ve won. Just use the scanners as a double check.

      But if you think something dodgy happened, contact the security department of the lottery company. You’ll need to tell them the address of store, the day it happened and roughly what time.

    • Ebony Wilson

      I live in Illinois and I played Pick 3 with the Fireball box last night. I got 2 of the draw numbers and the Fireball. Went to check the ticket on the scanner, and it said ‘not a winner’. But it was 510 and the Fireball 6, was 516 so I won. But the machine said no I will be calling those people because either the scanners are scamming or the lottery is!

      • LG

        ‘Scamming..?’ – so you’re accusing them of intentionally trying to defraud you..? It couldn’t just be a temporary glitch, a scanner that needs a clean or a crinkled up ticket… :-). Didn’t you ask the store clerk to try scanning it?

        If you have a winning ticket you’ll always get paid your winnings – no need to call them, just go claim it and enjoy the win 🙂

      • Steven

        In my state, some games close 10 minutes early. Check the date, your ticket may be for the next drawing. Never give a clerk an unknown winning ticket.

      • Ebony Wilson

        I did have the clerk scan it but it was a corner store, I will go to a more known retailer such as CVS, or a grocery store because as I read before some clerks will try to keep it for themselves. I haven’t given it any more of my energy these past few days – I will deal with it next week.

      • Joshua

        I had the same happen yesterday midday. I played 916 box and 467 box fireball 0, the draw was 976. So I had 906 with the fireball and 076 with fireball because I boxed both. Scanned both and it said not a winner!

        But the winning combo print out says 906 & 067 we’re winning combinations. I’m gonna March down there because it’s bull and they won’t answer email I sent with a pic of tickets.

    • Steven

      The only reason to see a clerk is to get paid up to $599. Did you see the winning amount yourself? If the display is out of sight, go somewhere else or play the game. Over $599 go to the lottery office with your ID and SS number.

  • Mary Hamel

    I bought a Bingo ticket at Ultra Gas in Springfield, Mass, a few weeks ago. I knew I won 2 bucks because it said I did. The cashier said this ticket had already been cashed and I said NO IT HASN’T BECAUSE I’VE HAD IT IN MY POCKET BOOK WAITING TO CASH IT. I truly believe that he ripped me off for just two bucks??!! Why? I still have the ticket and I’d like to get to the bottom of this and find out who stole my money. Thank you for reading my comment. And hopefully someone can help me.

    • Steven

      Did you actually see the scanner say already cashed? Your ticket could have been switched with another one, if you handed it to her. Once you hand over the ticket, you will not know if you actually get the same one back, unless you wrote the ticket number down before hand.

  • Calvin Bishop

    Took my tickets to the local claim center and they scanned them and ‘error’ pops up. So they sent my tickets to the main claim center so that security can check them out – what does that mean?

  • Sky Bennett Sr

    What do you do if you walk in to check your ticket and the clerk says it’s not a winner, puts the ticket in the trash then you see someone cashed the ticket in for a big win.

    • LG

      You would contact the lottery company security department ASAP. This kind of thing is rare but it happens, so their investigations team take this very seriously and can do a lot to fix it.

      It’s also why you should always know how much a ticket has won before you hand it over to someone else.

  • Mitchell Bright

    I had a clerk lock my ticket in the register after she checked it and said it was NOT a winner! I wanted my ticket back so she changed it to a $1.00 winner so she would not have to give it back. Then she went to the other clerks register, got a dollar dropped it off in front of me would not speak or look at me. The clerk DID NOT PRINT A CASH AUTHORIZATION RECEIPT. This is in the lottery rules that must be done before any cash payout is made. The store owner will not help and said I will lose my lotto license for this. I used a credit card at this store, so it has the time and date I was in the store. I found out the store had 4 dollars in redeemed tickets that day. The owner convinced the lottery that everything was done right. OK lottery show me the cash authorization receipt that has time, date and $1. That matches my credit card. SHE STOLE THE TICKET THAT’S THE ONLY REASON SHE WOULD HAVE TO NOT PRINT OUT A CASH AUTHORIZATION RECEIPT! I am not asking for your first born, just to check the four tickets for that day. My ticket has to be one of them, I ask the owner to see them, he said NO! Anybody got a thought on this?

    • LG

      It sounds like you lodged a complaint with the lottery company (is that right?), but they couldn’t find anything wrong. They can do a lot, but there are limits.

      From what you’ve said: if the ticket was not scanned then there will be no record for the lottery company to track down what happened to this ticket. Nothing will connect your credit card transaction to the specific ticket bought.

      I’m not sure why you think one of the stores 4 winning tickets for the day would have to be yours..? I know thieves are generally not very bright, but if this person stole your ticket they would have to be particularly stupid to also claim it at the very same store where they work. They could claim it anywhere, days or even weeks later. Or even more likely, get a friend to claim it elsewhere for them. Which leaves the lottery company with nothing more to go on.

      On the positive side, at least you have raised suspicion levels for this particular store/assistant. If anyone else reports problems they will have more evidence – and thieves rarely ever steal just once.

      Finally, I know hindsight is 20/20 etc, but this is another reminder to always know what a ticket is worth before you hand it over. And if anyone ever finds themselves in this fairly extreme situation, I recommend refusing to leave the store and calling the police. This is theft, and the police would treat it seriously.

    • Mitchell Bright

      I did file with the lottery & a Police Report. The four dollars in redeemed tickets could be 1-4 tickets. Don’t know the value of each one. Could all be scratchers, mine was a draw ticket. Let’s say on the day I was at the store the four dollars redeemed were 3 scratchers and 1 draw. That draw ticket cash authorization receipt time & date must match my CC Statement time & date. There may not even be a draw ticket that was redeemed the same day. The lottery has the authority to check this I don’t. But wait I have a kicker to this. The last 2 ½ yrs I see this clerk looking exactly the same. Now she is sporting a new look. New clothes, new hair style, new glasses. I almost didn’t think it was the same person. I just know I paid for it. Min wage didn’t… any thoughts?

      • LG

        I’m a bit confused. By ‘$4 in redeemed tickets’ do you mean winning tickets that cost $4 to buy, or tickets that won a total of $4..?

        But either way, I don’t understand why you think any of these redeemed tickets would be your ticket. You said the assistant did not print an authorisation receipt – so presumably she did NOT scan your ticket. Is that correct?

        The lottery company would have checked everything they could check. So if anything suspicious was there they would have found it.

        I’m not saying your ticket wasn’t stolen, just that they can only act on the evidence. And a makeover is a bit tenous as evidence – if she started driving a Ferrari to work that would be a different thing.

      • Mitchell Bright

        I realize the makeover is not evidence I just feel I paid for it.

        Winning Tickets were brought to this store and were paid out for a total of $4. The lottery rules state cash can only be paid out after validating and a cash authorization receipt is printed by the terminal. So what I’m saying is, I was paid $1. There must be a cash authorization receipt that shows this transaction with the date & time that will match my credit card I used at the same time making a purchase. Store has very low sales, I was the only customer, times could be off by 1min or so. There will be no receipt or validation when I was there. The clerk did not do any of the above. Other then stole my Ticket. One other thing another clerk stood 3ft from us and seen and could hear every thing going on. We even had looked at each other.

      • LG

        Why must there be a cash authorisation receipt for the $1 you were paid? You said the clerk told you it was a $1 winner, then took $1 from the till and gave that to you. So why would there be a record of anything?

  • Joseph

    I won $500 on a scratcher at a 24 hour gas station in Georgia, but the clerk claims to not have the money to pay. But they are open 24 hours and how is it I can buy the ticket from him but not get paid for winning.

    • LG

      People don’t pay with cash so much anymore, so it’s not that unlikely the till didn’t have $500 spare to pay you – maybe they already paid a few other winners that day.

      So just claim at another retailer – you know you can claim a prize from ANY retailer, right? And not just the one you bought the ticket from. Or claim at the lottery district office.

      You can also mail it in if you like, but I wouldn’t recommend that one.

      Then be happy you won $500 🙂

  • Grace

    I cannot stress enough. Write your name on the back of the ticket as soon as you BUY IT! No one can cash it in if your name is on it.

  • Steven

    One, you should be looking at the display when the winning tone sounds. You can’t be cheated. If the agent does not have a self service checker, go to another agent that does. Sign your tickets before handing them over.

  • Daniel

    Always check your tickets yourself. Just the other day I had a winning ticket from Mega Millions, it was only 10$. But when I went to cash it out for more tickets the agent said it was only a winner for 2$. I asked for the self checker and he said it was broke. I then went somewhere else and cashed it for 10$, so that goes to show not to just trust the agents.

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