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 ↓

  • Alyssa Luster

    I have a scratcher that I took into the store and the cashier gave me a scratcher cash receipt that says ‘claim at lottery’. What does that mean?

  • Mickey Murley

    The same thing happened to me. I bought four tickets from a store, two of them were $5 winners, two of them are losers. When I went to take the $5 winners to the store the cashier lady says “oh my God I’ve never seen this before”. I think you hit something big so I flipped out. Thought I scratch the ticket wrong, it looks like it’s coming out to a hundred thousand. I finally got home, I checked it, still nothing. It was showing $5 so I called the lottery, they said this is a winner claim at Lottery. I said claim a lottery, she said ‘oh you might want to come in for that’. I said what is the difference why should you have to come in to check it out. Nothing I can think of is that the guy I bought them from was selling me tickets that he wasn’t supposed to sell so they were unactivated. So once you go to the lottery place they investigate you because tickets could possibly be stolen. It hurt REAL bad after that I even went back to store, bought one it lost, so I scanned it and it said same thing ‘claim at lottery’. So I said this is fishy I asked the guy to scan it on his system and he immediately said ‘sorry buddy’. I think the lottery stopped his account so he was pocketing the money and if I went to lottery company I would of most likely gotten blamed for stolen tickets, because no store clerk would ever steal from them.

    [LG: Racism, general ranting and swearing edited out… oh, and some punctuation added.]

  • Kelly

    I bought a ticket recently it had one 7, it has won $100. I took it to cash in and the lady gave me a paper which said to contact the lottery head quarters. Why is that?

  • Janice

    What about tickets in vending machines? Would these be a better bet to not have been checked by a clerk before?

    • LG

      Yes, in terms of knowing they will definitely have come directly from the roll and can’t have been put aside. But someone still has to fill the machine so nothing is 100% guaranteed 🙂

      But it only takes a few seconds to check a ticket hasn’t been damaged or slightly scratched anywhere before you leave a store. Just like you would before buying anything. So it’s a useful habit to get into.

  • Steven

    In Rhode Island, there are two barcodes to scratch and cash in for that reason. The second barcode is in the same area as the game. You can always tell the ticket was tampered with.

  • Denise Mason

    Your company does not make it easy for us to check our scratch tickets online just to see if it is a winner. And at times it’s better that way than to walk to the store if you have to walk miles. Sorry but I would like to.

    • LG

      You need to tell the lottery company Denise – I’m not the lottery company 🙂

      Depending on which lottery company it is though, also check if they have a smartphone app that can scan tickets as some of them do. But your first check should always be to play the game, and see if you think you won. Then double check it with a scan.

    • Steven

      It is impossible to check if it was already cashed in.

  • Brenda Chapman

    I went to the local store Monday and scratched off my ticket at the register since no one was in the store but me and the clerk. As I scratched I was saying how much I was winning, I got so excited that I had 4 x $100 winning numbers that my mind went stupid. I said to him I won $400 and he said no it has to be more. He came over to me and scratched my ticket better and said $500. I was so excited. I was waiting on him to scan it. He took my ticket to that side of the counter then rang up at least two other customers. I got nervous because he had my ticket. And when they left he had an ink pen checking off the winning numbers. Then handed me $500. I said “did you scan it” and he went over and pressed a button and gave me a receipt that said $500. I never saw him scan it. I have been so weirded out that I didn’t look at that ticket well enough. He printed me a receipt. Does that seem legit?

  • Brittany Diver

    I’ve won 20 bucks, got three words on a Mega Crossword scratcher. The number is 765-xxxxxx-7-022 or the bar code numbers are 62xxxxx765. How do I get my money?

  • Grace

    So I bought the $100 Payday scratcher new in AZ. I scratched it and pretty sure I did not win, but just to make sure I scanned it on my lotto app, that usually will tell me if I win some amount or if I don’t win at all.

    But this time it’s telling me to take the ticket to the lottery office, usually it only says that if I scan the drawing ticket that is not drawn yet.

    So, while reading some of the comments here I used to work at Walmart’s lottery kiosk, and remembered that my co-employee scanned the ticket first before he puts it in the machine. Is it possible that my ticket was just not scanned?

    • LG

      Yes, that’s possible. Ticket rolls need to be ‘activated’ before they can be sold. It’s a security measure to prevent thieves from stealing rolls and getting away with it.

      So if you’re certain it’s a losing ticket, no action required. Or if you want to be double certain, you can always take it in to a lottery office to get it checked.

  • Lacey Smith

    I scanned a ticket today that appears to be a loser. Because I have no matching numbers to the winning numbers, also there are no winning symbols. My ticket by the way was Cash King. What on earth does this mean?

    • LG

      You didn’t scratch any matching numbers, and didn’t get any of the winning symbols. In which case it’s just a losing ticket. Which you confirmed by scanning it…

      … what am I not understanding about your question..? 🙂

      • Lacey Smith

        It was given to me. I only scratched the bar code at first… scanned it and it said ‘Claim at Lottery’. I got excited for a minute and continued to scratch the rest of the ticket and saw it was a loser. So I was curious if anyone knew and could tell me why it would say that about a losing ticket, lol. I suppose next time I’ll scratch all and not be so impatient. Thank you for your time 🙂

      • LG

        Ah, OK, now I understand – you didn’t mention the ‘claim at lottery’ bit :-). That typically means the ticket roll was not activated by the retailer it came from (a security measure). That can happen by mistake sometimes, or it happens if someone steals a pack of tickets before they go on sale. So hopefully you trust the person who gave the ticket to you! 🙂

      • Lacey Smith

        Oh my… Thank you for your advice!

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