Do not give your tickets to the lotto cashier to check if you win the lottery. It’s possible that the cashier may return a different one which you did not play.
If you have to hand your ticket to someone, make sure you have your signature at the back to prevent anyone from stealing your good fortune. And make sure the lotto clerk knows it. But even these method is not advisable either.
The best thing to do is to check the ticket yourself. And do it even if you signed it.
Avoid the devastating effect
Take for example the experience of one devastated UK player after UK lottery group Camelot refused to pay his multi-million-pound prize for his failure to check and keep his ticket.
The last thing you want to happen to you is to know that you won but did not get the prize because of a simple neglect.
Missing Lottery Winners
According to a report on CNN, about $800 million worth of lotto prizes are unclaimed each year. Maybe some of those are yours.
If you happen to have a ticket and somehow forgot to check it, check with your official lottery website and see immediately. I know, each lottery organization has an official website. For instance, in Iowa lottery, aside from checking the past lottery results, you can also check the unclaimed prizes on a separate page. The official Florida lottery website has a dedicated page for expiring tickets here.
If your lottery has no website, you can go to your local lotto station and look their record yourself. Again, as I said, do not let the cashier hold your ticket. Ask for the past lottery results and check for yourself.
There are ways to check if you’re a winner. All you have to do is check.
What happened to unclaimed prize
Depending on your local lottery rules, the unclaimed prize may go back to the prize pool. But some lottery authorities divert the prize to charitable works.
In California for instance, unclaimed jackpot prizes are distributed to public education.
Rules differ in each organization that handles the lottery operation.