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In short, yes, scratchcards can go out of date.

All National Lottery scratchcards have an expiry date, which is different for each scratchcard. Because there are so many different scratchcards being released – check out all new scratchcards for 2020 for example – it can be hard to keep track of when scratchcards must be cashed in.

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However, it is unlikely that you will ever have this problem, unless you are the kind of person that loses winners, or is just too lazy to go back to the shop.

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Let’s explain why this happens, and how to check it for yourself!

Why do scratchcards expire?

Scratchcards expire for 2 main reasons.

The first reason being that all the jackpot prizes have been won. However, this is not always correct.

Scratchcards are split into 3 categories, A, B & C – all details regarding this can be found on our Remaining Scratchcard Jackpots page.

Scratchcards with a jackpot of £121,000 or more are classed as category C games. 

When all the jackpots from a category C game are won, the scratchcard game is closed shortly after. At this point, National Lottery announce the closure and the standard closure rules (detailed below) apply.

This is not the same for category A games, scratchcards with a jackpot prize of £121,000 or less.

These games can be sold even after all the jackpots have been won. 

Therefore, the second reason for a scratchcard expiry is when all the scratchcards have been sold to retailers.

Sometimes however, all category C scratchcards will be sold, even when there are still jackpot prizes remaining. For whatever reason, some jackpots aren’t claimed and therefore scratchcards with prizes of £121,000 continue to be sold.

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How do I check scratchcard expiry dates

Checking the expiry date of a scratchcard is incredibly easy, just head to this National Lottery scratchcard page.

This page is not updated that frequently, so there are usually multiple game closures announced at one time.

It displays the closure date of all the scratchcards in the list, and also the last day that prizes can be claimed.

How long do you have to claim a scratch card?

This is a bit like the age old question, ‘how long is a piece of string?’.

Obviously, it all depends on each individual scratchcard, and what has caused the game to expire.

If you are buying a scratchcard that is fairly old, odds are that it will expire sooner than a new scratchcard.

In our experience, we tend to see that scratchcards expire around 9 months after their first release, and then get another 180 days as per National Lottery rules to cash it in.

Has My Scratchcard Expired?

If you’ve followed the above steps we’ve mentioned, and you are still unsure (or just lazy), as always, we are happy to help you out. 

Just fill in the contact form below, or simply contact us directly or through our social media page.


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