The last thing you want to do if you win on a National Lottery scratch card is then to go and damage it.

However, this can easily happen, there’s even been an example of jackpot winning scratchcard that got ripped in half!

In order for a store to pay out on a scratchcard win, they first scan the barcode on the back and then enter the 4 digit code on the front. This combination is unique to all scratchcards and confirms whether and how much you’ve won.

So, to claim a scratchcard win, your scratch cards needs to be fully intact (not ripped), with the 4 digit code on the front game panel and the barcode on the reverse clearly visible.

Scratchcard Got Wet – What To Do

If your winning scratchcard has got wet, your main concern is if you can still see the barcode on the reverse of your water damaged scratchcard.

Due to the material that scratchcards are made of, the main problem that is likely to occur is smudging of the ink, or the scratch card starting to crinkle and curl at the edges.

Firstly, remove the scratchcard from the water if you haven’t already. Make sure to carefully lift it with both hands, delicately moving it to a dry surface.

If you can, take a photo of both the front and back of the scratchcard with the 4 digit code and reverse barcode clearly visible.

Lay the scratch card face front side down on a dry surface, ideally a wooden or tiled surface.

DO NOT put it on any paper surface as this will stick to the scratchcard as it dries!

Also, keep the scratchcard away from direct sunlight or a heat source such as a radiator. This will make the scratchcard crinkle and curl more significantly.

Leave it for as long as possible until it looks dry, making sure not to disturb it by touching or moving it.

Go to the last section in this article to found out what to do next.

Scratchcard Got Ripped

Ripped scratchcards tend to be less of a problem that wet scratch cards, however, you still need to make sure you follow the correct procedure.

Before we start, if you buy a scratch card from a store, make sure it is not ripped, and always ask for another one instead.

ripped national lottery scratchcard

There are 2 reasons that ripped scratchcards are a problem:

1. A scratchcard barcode that has been ripped cannot be scanned which is required to pay out a prize.
2. A ripped scratchcard voids any win, and you are unlikely to receive a payout from a store if the rip is significant

In fact, when a store pays out a scratchcard, they usually rip it in half to void anybody trying to claim the prize for a second time.

As with water damaged scratchcards, make sure to take clear photos of the front and back of the scratchcard pieces before you do anything else with it.

​To find out what to do, read on for our guide in the next section.

What to do with Damaged Scratchcards

First off, if you’ve not done so already, take a photo(s) of the damaged scratchcard as evidence, making sure they are as detailed and clear as possible.

Simply, the easiest way to see if your scratchcard is too damaged, is to take it to your nearest shop and see if they will accept them to pay out.

If this doesn’t work, you need to contact National Lottery and let them know about your issue. More than likely, you will be asked details about where you purchased the scratchcard from, and be requested to send the scratchcard to one of the National Lottery regional offices.

Should you have to do this, make sure to send using recorded delivery that has proof of postage and insures for any value should it get lost!

What About Damaged Lottery Tickets?

If you have a paper National Lottery ticket that has suffered any damage – such as a rip, tear, burn, water damage, etc – that is preventing you from checking or cashing in your winnings, then the general advice above – for scratchcards – should be followed. They can be summarised as follows:

  • Take a photo of any damage
  • Keep any receipts of proof of purchase
  • Take to a National Lottery store to see if they can pay out anyway
  • Contact National Lottery for advice
  • Send your winning ticket (recorded and signed for) directly for National Lottery to process.

With damaged lottery tickets – especially water damaged ones – be careful not to handful too excessively.

And just remember, don’t try and fraud your way to millions. There are a couple of well-documented stories where players have tried to claim ‘winning’ lottery tickets that were damage prior to a claim – such as this story.

Damaged Scratchcards – Still Need Help?

Are you still struggling with claiming your scratchcard winner or do you need some assistance on what to do next?

Make sure to get in contact with us and we will gladly help you out!

Maybe it is time to consider the best online scratchcard sites, to avoid having this issue in future?

6 Replies to “Damaged Scratchcard? Can I claim my win?”

  • Attila Zorg says:

    Good morning.

    I have a winner “full of £500s” scratchcard and I scratched of the first digits of the four number. In the morrisons they couldn’t help me to claim the price.

  • Pauline Anderson says:

    hello I have accidentally torn my scratch card and when I have checked it I would have won £1000 I have I lost it?

    • Scratchcard Winners says:

      If you scratchcard is still valid (the game has not closed) then you should be able to send it to National Lottery and receive a cheque as normal

  • Pauline Anderson says:

    i accidentally tore my scratch card and when I checked I had won £1000 wan I still collect?

    • Scratchcard Winners says:

      If your scratchcard is still valid (the game has not closed) then you should be able to send it to National Lottery and receive a cheque as normal

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