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 ↓

  • Tyla

    I got a scratcher today it was a $500 winner. I took it to the store but they told me it wasn’t a winner. I told them, no that is wrong, I double checked over and over. He looked it over. I went to another store, was told it wasn’t a winner so she checked it and said not a winner. So now what do I do? I want my 500 bucks.

  • Nicholas De La Haye

    In the UK this can never happen because scratch cards tell you how much you have won when scratching the game! Sounds like the US lottery companies need to change their scratch cards. That will save having a machine to check you have won, and law enforcement. Simple. Works here anyway.

    Failing that there are plenty of online websites for scratch cards.

    • LG

      The US scratchers do tell you how much you’ve won too, but some games are far more complex than others and people get confused (or don’t even check/play the game). So this is probably happening in the UK too :-). There’s been a few cases in the UK news for the draw based games where shopkeepers have tried to steal winning tickets (not sure about scratchcards). The real worry is how much of it goes undetected.

    • Steven

      On scratchers, it is impossible for the self service machines to tell you how much you have won. If you do not know how a scratch game is played don’t play that game.

  • Sayed

    Hey LG,

    How is it going? Just want to say luv ya bro. Please keep it up. Take care.

  • Will

    I got a scratch off today that I checked at 3 machines and they all say “file claim with lottery” – which is supposed to mean I won over $600. The weird thing is after scratching off the whole ticket I didn’t actually win anything. Has this ever happened?

  • Kim Dee

    Played KENO 10 Spot, 10 consecutive games. NOV 2018 – checked numbers online Jan 2019, 6/10 = $10.00 – retailer checks ticket & it says: Sorry No Winner? #wtf? Why???

  • Richard Bell

    I have a CA scratcher and took it to a retailer to redem it. They scanned it and said I had to file a claim form. It’s a $30 winner not a $600 winner so why the claim form?

    • LG

      It could be that the ticket roll it came from was not ‘activated’ by the retailer. Rolls are activated just before they go on sale (it’s an anti-theft measure). Unfortunately you don’t have much choice – you can try scanning elsewhere just in case it’s a mistake, otherwise you’ll have to put in a claim.

  • Jackie Jenkins

    Great, Thanks!

  • Robert

    I scanned a Powerball or Mega Millions ticket today at a tobacco store in Illinois and it said see clerk. Ticket was in good shape and relatively new (month old maybe). I took it to the counter, I’m guessing they scanned it but something printed. She told me not a winner and I left. Something didn’t sit right with see a clerk and the way a ticket printed. In your experience do non-winners still print out a receipt when scanned? I don’t know because I don’t think I have ever not been told not a winner at scanner. Well anyways I emailed player assistance at the Illinois lottery website with approximate time and address of store.

    • LG

      This does sound highly suspicious, so you did the right thing. Let us know what they say when they get back to you?

    • Steven

      What printed was a claim form for a win over $599. Good luck in proving you got robbed. Hopefully there was a security camera recording this ripoff. Always ask for anything that prints out. In RI, the machine actually tells you how much you have won. In this state, there are self service machine and apps, to tell you how much you have won, before you hand it over to the store clerk. You should sign the back of the ticket too.

    • Mickey Murley

      Usually when a winner is scanned you hear a cha-ching noise, but haha you always ask for the receipt, and watch out they also put recent loser receipts to the side and give them to you. Always check the date on receipts also.

    • Robert

      As to the others who have commented… First of all I buy tickets randomly and check them only periodically at self check kiosk. And have won previously only in small amounts. No need to second guess the kiosk it’s always been right. That message was new and I have not known anyone ever say anything about any experience with that message.

      I was aware any prize over $600 needed to be claimed at a lottery regional office. Again never have won anything personally over $400. So this is not common knowledge about what the reader would say had you won over that amount. And people don’t sign every ticket unless required to. I wasn’t expecting to see anything but sorry not a winner or I would have signed. I am an adult, I don’t lose things and sure I might get my wallet stolen but again I may also win the lottery.

      Anyhow lottery gave me a claim number and told me call tomorrow during business hours.

  • Keisha

    I tried to scan my scratcher on my phone to see what I won and it says to call 1800 lottery. But I’ve checked 10 times and it seems I won 3 bucks. Waiting for them to open but wonder why it would ever say to call.

    • LG

      Could be a few different reasons, but most common seems to be that the ticket roll was not activated by the store. It’s a security measure – makes it much harder for thieves to steal rolls of scratch off tickets and either resell or try to claim them. But if the store forgets to activate a roll it can inconcenience customers too! You will probably have to put in a claim form to get paid, even if it really is only $3.

      • CB

        I didn’t know the ticket roll has an activation system to help reduce theft and resale.

    • Steven

      It could be an app error. Maybe the app is not authentic, where did you obtain it? The lottery scanners are more accurate.

  • Ely

    Bought a $5 scratch off but the ticket itself wasn’t a winning ticket. But when I scan the barcode it says “Claim At Lottery” – what could it possibly mean?

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