It doesn’t happen very often, but it happens often enough that the lottery companies have teams to investigate suspicious claims.
Here’s How It Looks:
You hand over your lottery ticket to the guy in the shop. He scans your ticket, and says “no, sorry, nothing this time – but good luck for the next draw”.
And off you go to fill out your next playslip.
So What Really Happened?
Your lottery ticket actually won. And that smiling sales assistant just stole it to claim the winnings later.
[Does this really happen? Hell, YES! Just ask this guy still trying to get his $1 Million winnings back!]
There Are TWO Ways This Can Go Down Too…
In some countries the lottery machines play loud ‘winners music’, flash lights and tell the lottery company when a big winning ticket is scanned.
But just because the alarms don’t go off does NOT mean they scanned the ticket. It only takes a few seconds to quickly check your ticket against the winning numbers taped behind the till, while pretending to scan it!
Here’s 5 Ways To Save Yourself
From Stolen Lottery Tickets
1. Watch The Lottery Draw
If you can, watch it live. You may have actually forgotten how much fun this is – it’s actually quite exciting seeing the balls come out in real time.
2. Check The Official Lottery Site
You may have to wait until the next day. But the official lottery site for any lottery will have the results. The link to the site is often on the tickets if you’re not sure.
3. Use TV / Newspaper Results
Check the results announced at the end of the news, or published in the next days newspapers. But please don’t rely 100% on this – there have been cases where the WRONG results have been given out!
4. Scan It Yourself
Self-scan machines are becoming more common. If there is one, please use it. Not all of them say how much you have won, but if you have a winner you can then the check official results.
5. Pay Someone Else To Do It!
I don’t really mean pay someone to take your tickets away and tick off the numbers for you!
What I mean is play online. You can do this using the official lottery website (if they offer online options, sadly a lot still don’t – check which US states sell tickets online here), or a lottery ticket buying service or you can also join an online syndicate. Because part of the professional services you pay for are the checking of results, and paying winnings direct to your account.
Just make sure the service you use is one that tells you all the numbers played before the draw, just to be safe. Read more about why lottery syndicates work and get the reviews here.
Be Careful Out There
Please don’t start eyeing all sales assistants with suspicion though. The vast majority of them are very trustworthy, honest and hard working people.
And whilst they are happy to check your lottery tickets for you, maybe that’s simply a job they don’t need to do.