Winning the lottery, whether it’s £10 or £1,000, is an exciting time, but now you need to claim your winnings. So how do you go about this and where do you get your prize from?
The way in which you claim your prize depends on the lottery you played, how you purchased the ticket and the amount that you won. For instance, you may have played the lottery online, in which case your money could be added to an online account. Or you might have purchased a paper ticket from your local shop, where you would need to return and present your winning ticket in person. For larger prizes, you may need to claim them in a different way entirely.
How do you claim lottery winnings?
If you played an online lottery and won, the money may be deposited into your online account automatically a few days after the draw, however you should check that this is the case with the lottery provider. Alternatively, for cash prizes, the money may be sent as a cheque in the post. This is why it’s so important to keep your address and contact details up to date.
The method of payment may vary depending on how much you’ve won. For instance, the EuroMillions won’t deposit the money into your online account if the amount is over £500. If it is, you will need to confirm that the prize can be paid to the bank account that’s registered with the online lottery. For very large prizes, such as £50,000, you may need to speak to the lottery directly so they can confirm some personal details for security purposes.
Upon winning, the lottery may want to contact you to confirm your prize and how you will receive it. If you win the Age UK Weekly Lottery, a cheque will be sent in the post within 14 days and you have up to six months to cash it at your bank, or you’ll receive a direct transfer into your bank account.
Where do you claim your lottery win?
As stated previously, if you have won a prize from playing an online lottery, the lottery provider will be able to give you your winnings based on the card information saved in your account or via cheque in the post. You could check to see if you’ve won by visiting the lottery’s website and entering your numbers. However, what if you purchased your ticket from a brick-and-mortar shop?
You may be able to claim by post, depending on the lottery provider, or you could get your winnings in cash from the shop or Post Office where you bought your ticket.
How long do you have to claim a lottery win?
How long you have to claim your prize could again vary depending on the lottery provider. For some lotteries, such as the National Lottery, you must make a claim within 180 days. However, these lotteries tend not to alert you if you’ve won - you need to check the numbers yourself. Other lotteries, such as Age UK’s, will notify you if you’re a winner and arrange to have your prize sent to you within 14 days. If for any reason they cannot reach you, you have up to three years to claim your winnings.
What happens if you don’t claim your winnings?
There are plenty of reasons why people don’t claim their prizes, from lost tickets to incorrect contact details. Some people even choose not to claim their prize. For Age UK, this money can go back to the charity and towards helping older people in the UK who need it. For other lotteries, such as the National Lottery, the prize amount is donated to good causes after 180 days has passed.
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