What to Do If You Lose Your Lottery Ticket?

lottery ticket close upPlaying any of the games associated with The National Lottery should provide you with a certain sort of entertainment. It’s one of the easiest ways of getting involved with gambling, and this is why so many people have taken to playing the Lotto or the Thunderball or the EuroMillions etc. Various games now exist for you to experience, and this means that there is likely something for everyone to enjoy.

Playing a lottery game requires you to pick a set of numbers (or go for a Lucky Dip where the numbers are chosen at random for you) and then wait for the draw to see if any (or in very lucky instances all) of the numbers match up. The more matching numbers that are drawn in relation to your ticket, the better the winning payout you receive is. A simple premise, and one that doesn’t require any real kind of skill to engage in.

Anyone choosing to play the lottery via a land-based retail outlet will be given a ticket after confirming their numbers. On that ticket are the lottery numbers chosen, the number of lines of numbers in play, the date that the draw is occurring on and various other pieces of information. It is also the case that this ticket will be needed to claim the winnings if matching numbers are drawn out. But what happens if somehow you lose that ticket and you believe that you have won in the latest draw? How do you go about claiming the winnings and proving that you are the one who purchased the ticket in the first place?

Here is a guide on how to go about making a claim if you have lost your lottery ticket.

A Simple Few Steps

detective silhouette following footsteps

While it is always very much preferential for you to keep a hold of your ticket and put it somewhere safe until the draw, you may have ended up putting it down somewhere and forgotten, dropped it while out, or perhaps you’ve had it stolen in an unfortunate circumstance. The first thing to remember in any of these instances is that you need to act in the first 30 days to ensure that you obtain the money associated with a lost winning ticket.

A lost ticket is more likely to hit you if there is a large unclaimed prize waiting to be collected. Of course, it is the duty of The National Lottery to reveal the location in the country where a big win ticket was purchased. And this will be done two weeks after a draw occurs if nobody comes forward to collect their prize. You have the opportunity to check and see if the winning ticket was bought in the same region that you bought yours in.

If you did purchase a ticket in that area where an outstanding prize is available to claim or simply if you know you have lost a lottery ticket and you just want to know if you have won anything at all, you have to lodge your appeal for this within a 30-day timeframe, as noted.

Whenever you buy a lottery ticket, this serves as your proof of entry into the draw. If it indeed does go missing, you cannot claim the winnings from retailers as you normally would be able to – where smaller wins are concerned, of course). In any instance where you have lost a ticket, you must make your appeal to The National Lottery directly.

There is a simple claim form that you can fill in, either by picking one up from a retail outlet or by downloading your own online. If you have more than one lottery ticket missing, then you have to complete a separate form for each one. This can also be utilised if you have a damaged ticket, one that has been stolen or one that has been completely destroyed somehow. Completed appeal forms should be sent in to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or you can print it off and send it to Player Services, The National Lottery, PO Box 287, Tolpits Lane, Watford, WD18 9TT.

Once the form has been received and all relevant information is present on it, the lottery will, at its own discretion, investigate the matter and decide upon whether your claim is valid or not. Any prize that is considered to be yours after such time will be paid within a reasonable amount of time following the 180-day claim period for that particular draw.

Details to Include on the Appeal Form

national lottery station in a shopWhether you fill out the official appeal form or if you simply email the relevant information in as standard, you will need to include very specific details. Of course, you may not remember everything completely, but it is better to fill out the information to the best of your knowledge. The following details must be included:

  • The date, time and place that you bought your lottery ticket from.
  • The game and the draw date that your ticket was bought for.
  • The date of the draw that you believe your ticket would have won a prize in.
  • The number of entries that you bought on that ticket, as well as the numbers selected.
  • What you believe happened to the ticket i.e., how did it go missing, get destroyed, was stolen etc.

On the official appeal form, you can mark off whether your ticket was lost, stolen, destroyed or damaged, and there is space for you to include your personal details including name, address and so on. It also requests for you to fill in details of the shop where you bought the ticket and if you know about the CCTV status of the shop.

A way of avoiding the loss of a ticket or theft of it etc. is to play online instead. Numbers will automatically be stored in your online account this way, and therefore there is no chance of losing such.

What to Do If You Find a Lost Ticket

man with bet slipLet’s say that the shoe is completely on the other foot, and you come across a lottery ticket with no apparent owner. Should this happen to you, and the ticket does not have any name and/or address on it or other type of identification of ownership and is for a draw that is yet to take place or is a winning ticket for a draw that has taken place, you need to follow an alternate guide.

You will need the same physical address noted above, which is where you should send the ticket to, and this should be submitted with a covering letter or note from you. On it, you should include your name, address and any contact number, as well as details on where you found the ticket and when. Any information about steps potentially taken to find the owner of the ticket should also be noted.

If that ticket is then matched up to a claim that has been submitted to Camelot by another player, then you will essentially have helped someone avoid missing out on their prize!

Stories of Lost Tickets

Without a doubt, multiple people will have lost their lottery tickets in the past, and there is most likely going to be people who lose such in the future, too. To confirm this, here are a few stories that describe the fortunate and unfortunate outcomes of some of these instances.

£3 Million Ticket Loss Leads to Break Up

There can be little that tops the devastation of losing a jackpot-winning lottery ticket. Yet what about a break-up with your significant other as well as that? The story of Martyn and Kay Tott from Watford has that exact outcome, though!

The married couple decided to buy a lottery ticket back in 2001, and after the draw took place, they realised that they had won the £3 million jackpot. Although, they only noticed this six months after the draw. However, an appeal had been going on for winners to come forward and this is when they saw that their numbers were the winning ones.

Unfortunately, the couple had lost their winning lottery ticket, which meant that they had to try and prove to Camelot that they were the ones who purchased such and were supposed to receive the multi-million-pound payout. This was achieved by Kay obtaining computer records from their local Londis, which displayed that she had indeed made the purchase. Yet they had in fact breached the 30-day rule of reporting lost tickets to The National Lottery.

It took 45 days for the lottery to inform the Totts that they would not be getting their prize payout due to this. The case actually gained national attention in the UK though, and even public figures like Sir Richard Branson and Tony Blair urged the lottery to award them their winnings. Camelot was immovable on its decision though, and that misfortune supposedly put a large strain on the couple’s marriage.

While Martyn spent five years of his life trying to get the winnings paid out in court, he finished up being happy that they didn’t provide the payout. “There is no guarantee it would have brought me happiness”, he said in an interview with the Mail on Sunday.

A Woman Claims Husband Threw Away Her Winning Lottery Ticket

Moving a few years forward from that story, in 2010, a woman claimed that she was the winner of a record-breaking jackpot. The £113 million payout had been left unclaimed since the EuroMillions draw that had taken place on October 8 of that year. A couple of week later, the anonymous woman in her 70s, came forward with the belief that she was the winner of the jackpot. How did she know? Well, she’d checked the numbers in a notebook that she kept as a record of her gameplay.

Unfortunately, despite this possibly being the case, she claimed that her husband had thrown the lottery ticket away by mistake. The woman spoke of playing the lottery every week, with a particular fondness for the EuroMillions and the Thunderball games. Based out of Coventry, where it was discovered that the winning ticket was indeed purchased from, she said that her husband always took the tickets off of her when they had been bought, and she never saw them after that.

“That’s why I always write my numbers down”, she said in an interview with The Daily Express. After rumours spread that the ticket winner lived in Warwickshire city, she checked the numbers against those in her notebook, discovering that she was the winner of the £113 million. After finding out that her husband had thrown the ticket away, she went down to her local newsagent where she always bought her tickets from, and explained that although she was the winner, she didn’t have the ticket.

Camelot once again noted its policy of requiring an appeal on lost tickets to be submitted within 30 days, but it did not state whether a claim had been received from the Coventry couple.

Couple Finds Winning Lottery Ticket and Goes on Fraudulent Spending Spree

This final story won’t restore any of your faith in humanity at all. In 2009, a couple found a lottery ticket on the floor of a supermarket and decided to cash it in. That ticket was worth £30,000, which the couple proceeded to claim as their own.

Amanda Stacey, 34, was the one who discovered the ticket on the floor in a supermarket in Swindon, Wiltshire, and alongside her husband Michael, went on a spending spree with the £30K. Half of the money was spent on new carpets, treats for their children and on paying off their accumulated debts.

The couple didn’t bank on actual ticket winner Dorothy McDonagh, 61, proving to operator Camelot that she was the ticket owner, though. The police acted and froze the remaining £15,000 of the winnings before bringing charges of theft and dishonesty against the Staceys. Amanda informed the police that she did not realise she was engaging in criminal activity, but both members of the couple admitted to the charges of making a false representation. Amanda also admitted to theft.

The pair were handed an eleven-month prison sentence each, while a court hearing in July of that same year would decide upon whether Ms McDonagh would receive the remaining £15,000. The only way she would have been able to recover the other half of it would be to launch a private action.