Claiming National Lottery Prizes During the Coronavirus Crisis
Last Updated: Monday 11th May 2020, 12:37
Update 10th August 2020: As lockdown restrictions have now eased across the country, the process for claiming National Lottery prizes has returned somewhat to normal. All winners are encouraged to adhere to the Government's latest social distancing guidelines when visiting a retailer or Post Office to claim.
The coronavirus outbreak is continuing to have a huge impact on general life and many National Lottery players have encountered issues with claiming prizes in the usual way. Find out how to make sure you can still receive your winnings during lockdown.
Are Retailers Paying Out Prizes?
When you buy a lottery ticket from a retailer and win a prize, it is normally a very simple process to get paid out. Take your entry to any retail outlet and you will be handed the cash. If the prize is worth more than £100, you may have to visit a Post Office which pays out National Lottery prizes. It is only for the largest awards that you have to contact the National Lottery by phone to arrange collection in person.
In recent weeks, you may have taken your ticket to a retailer and found that they refused to pay you out or check your ticket. This is entirely at their own discretion, as retail partners are entitled to set out their own policies about the lottery products they sell and whether they pay out prizes at the current time.
What to Do if You Can’t Claim at a Retailer
You should only try to claim prizes – or indeed buy tickets – from retailers as part of your essential shop. If you can’t claim your prize in a store, you have a number of options. The first is to claim your prize by post. You will need to fill out a claim form - providing some personal and banking information - and attach your winning ticket.
Alternatively, just hold onto your ticket until you can safely come forward to collect your winnings. The UK government has already announced plans to reduce restrictions and gradually come out of lockdown. As all prizes remain valid for 180 days, there will be plenty of time to claim any winnings before they expire.
Claiming Prizes Online
The best option during the ongoing crisis is to take part in your favourite games online. This eliminates the need to go to a retailer as you only need a smartphone or tablet and can get involved from home.
You don’t have to go out to claim online prizes either. You will be automatically notified by email if you win and prizes will be paid straight into your account. Only if you win a larger prize - £50,000 or more - you would normally have to arrange to collect this in person.
Due to the current rules on social distancing, the National Lottery has had to set up processes to allow them to pay out major prizes. If you win, you should contact them directly on 0333 234 50 50 or 0333 234 44 33.
Ryan Hoyle, a builder from Rochdale, claimed his EuroMillions prize in this way after winning a jackpot of £58 million on Friday 17th April. He said he usually buys his tickets from a retailer but instead played online for the draw in which he hit the jackpot.
You can take part in games online right now for your chance to win the next big jackpot. EuroMillions currently has a top prize of £55 million, while the Lotto jackpot is worth £8.5 million.