Playing the Lottery from Overseas
It is possible to play UK lottery games from overseas, but if you've ever thought of buying lottery tickets in another country there are a few things you should be aware of. This page will tell you all you need to know about playing National Lottery games abroad.
Can I Play the UK Lottery Online Abroad?
It is possible to enter UK lotteries online from other countries. However, you will be unable to purchase tickets directly from the National Lottery as you can only access your account from locations within the United Kingdom.
That leaves you with a couple of options: you can either play in advance or you can purchase your entries while you're away through lottery messenger services and betting sites.
Of all the National Lottery's games, EuroMillions is the only one that is played outside the UK, so if you visit one of the other eight participating countries you'll be able to buy tickets from retailers there. You may also be able to play EuroMillions online from Spain or any of the other participating countries through the relevant national lottery website.
Some of the other games featured on National-Lottery.com are available online from locations around the world, so you can play whether you're in the UK or not.
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How to play National Lottery games in advance
You can purchase tickets for National Lottery draws up to four weeks in advance, so if you're going on holiday for a short period, the easiest way to play while you're away is to buy your tickets before you go – you can do so online or in-store. If you play online you can also set up a Direct Debit to play on a continuous basis, which is a better option if you're going to be out of the country for more than a month.
Be aware, though, that if you play online through the National Lottery you will be unable to access your account while you're outside the country. That means if you get a notification telling you that you've won, you won't be able to see how much unless you made a note of your numbers and can check the results another way.
When it comes to claiming prizes, you have 180 days from the date of a winning draw to claim, so it can wait until you're back in the country unless you plan on being away for more than six months.
How do lottery messenger services work?
Lottery messenger services, which are also referred to as lottery concierges, purchase tickets on your behalf. You confirm all the usual options online, such as which game to play, which numbers to pick, how many draws to enter, and then an agent of the messenger service purchases a ticket from a retailer, based on your choices.
The ticket details will then be uploaded to your account for you to view at any time. After the draw, you'll be notified if you win a prize and the money will then be paid into your online account. If you're lucky enough to win a big prize, you may be required to travel to collect the prize in person. An agent of the seller will contact you to arrange all this when the time comes.
What are lottery betting sites?
When you play through a lottery betting site, you don't buy a ticket to the draw, like you do through lottery messenger services. Instead, you place a wager on what you think the winning numbers will be. You can still win all the big jackpots that UK lottery games offer. The only difference is that the National Lottery won't be the one paying you out; it will be the betting provider itself that pays you.
Lottery betting sites have insurance policies in place to ensure that all the payouts are guaranteed, even if you hit a big jackpot. The largest amount of money ever won through a betting site went to a player from Berlin, who hit a £79 million jackpot after betting on the multinational Eurojackpot lottery in 2018.
Prizes you win through lottery betting sites will be paid into your online account. If you win a jackpot, the money will be paid directly into your bank account after all the necessary validation and security checks have been completed.
Playing the Lottery Abroad: Your Questions Answered
There's no reason to stop playing your favourite lotteries while you're outside the UK, but if you need any further information about how it all works, check out the answers to these frequently asked questions.
Are all National Lottery games available abroad?
You cannot access the National Lottery website while you're outside the country, so if you have not already bought your tickets you will need to play through lottery messenger services and betting sites. The services and lotteries available will vary depending on the location, but you should be able to play most National Lottery games or close equivalents from many countries around the world.
Can I play from Jersey?
UK National Lottery games are not available in Jersey, which is instead part of the Channel Islands Lottery. To play the National Lottery in Jersey you would need to use lottery messenger services and betting sites, just as you would if you were anywhere else outside the United Kingdom.
Can I play other countries' lotteries while overseas?
A small minority of countries may require you to be a permanent resident in order to play the lottery there, but you should be able to play the lottery in most countries simply by purchasing a ticket from a retailer. Remember, though, that you will need to claim any prizes you win while you're still in the country. Some lottery providers may allow you to claim by post, but it's best to check this first.
I won a lottery prize with a ticket bought on holiday – how do I claim it?
Instructions on how to claim lottery prizes should be listed on the reverse of your ticket. If you're still in the country in which you bought the ticket, just follow the instructions to claim your prize. If the instructions are in a language that you can't read, look for a web address or telephone number that you can use to contact the lottery provider directly.
If you've returned home with a winning ticket, you will need to find out if you can claim by post. Go to the lottery provider's website or contact its customer support to try and find out if that's possible.
What tax do I pay on lottery prizes won abroad?
You are not liable to pay any tax on lottery prizes won in the UK – that means if you live and purchase your entries in the UK.
That may not be the case, however, if you live abroad and play National Lottery games. For example, if you reside overseas and purchase National Lottery tickets while visiting the UK, you will not pay the UK Government any tax on winnings, but you may be liable to pay tax in your country of residence, depending on the tax laws in force there.
The same can be said if you live in the UK but purchase a lottery ticket in another country. The tax laws of the country in which the ticket is purchased will apply, so you may be liable to pay taxes on your winnings.
Do I still get an entry to the UK Millionaire Maker Raffle if I play abroad?
When you play through a lottery betting site you will not get entry to any additional raffles or supplementary draws like the UK Millionaire Maker raffle, as you don't buy a ticket for the draw.
If you buy a ticket through a lottery messenger service you may also get entry to additional raffles, but this depends on the seller's terms and conditions, as well as where the ticket is bought. You should check with the seller before you purchase your tickets.