Do Lottery Tickets Expire? How to Know if the Ticket Is Expired? (2024)

If you have loads of lottery tickets for different games or aren’t vigilant about keeping up with draws, you might miss claiming a prize. Finding an old lottery ticket crumpled up in your wallet isn’t abnormal but realizing it holds the winning numbers to a jackpot long gone could be a shock. What if you missed a golden opportunity!

You may wonder if you can cash in your Powerball or EuroMillions ticket at any time or is there an expiry date for claiming prizes? And the same goes for scratch-off tickets. To get your answers, read on to find the answers to ‘do lottery tickets expire?’ so you can be sure to never miss out on a prize again.

Contents

  • Do Lottery Tickets Expire?
  • When Do Lottery Tickets Expire?
  • How Do I Know if My Ticket Has Expired?
  • Final Thoughts
  • FAQ

Do Lottery Tickets Expire?

Before going into all the details, first things first and that is, yes, lottery tickets DO expire. Most lottery games have an expiration date of between 90 to 180 days after the ticket purchase or the official draw date.

However, some lotteries allow you to claim your prize within a year or even two or three years. Therefore, it’s vital you research the games you play.

Checking the game’s payout rules will tell you when the lottery expiry date is so you can avoid missing the once-in-a-lifetime jackpot win (and smaller prizes!) Lotteries have these deadlines in place to keep the game transparent and to encourage players to claim their prizes, sooner than later.

If you play using one of the online lottery sites, you’ll be informed, one way or another, if you’ve won a prize. Smaller prizes are deposited directly into your online account after a winning draw. Different payout rules apply for bigger wins or the jackpot prize and familiarizing yourself with them will help you through the claim process timeously.

Payout rules for reputable sites such as Lotto Agent stipulate that different lotteries have specific rules when paying out winnings. Small prizes are deposited immediately into your e-wallet but you may have to go to the country where the game was played to claim a jackpot.

Online lottery sites such as theLotter will help you if you win big by making arrangements for you to claim your prize in person before the deadline.

Do Lottery Tickets Expire? How to Know if the Ticket Is Expired? (1)

Source: theLotter

The same lottery ticket expiry dates apply to both online and in-store players. Knowing how long you have to claim lottery winnings and the different rules that apply to each game ensures you don’t lose out on a prize. For example, countries such as the U.S. have different claim periods depending on the state you purchased your ticket from. Research rules in detail to safeguard your winnings!

Do Scratch Off Tickets Expire?

Scratch-off tickets or scratchers are a fun way to earn money with Lady Luck and the lottery. They’re one of the different types of lottery games you can play when your budget is tight! Scratch cards make wonderful gifts for friends and family but do you know that claiming scratch-off game winnings has a deadline?

If you or the recipient of a winning scratcher card aren’t aware of the cut-off date when redeeming prizes you may be in for a disappointment.

If you’ve purchased your scratch-off card from a local lottery retailer, you can check the expiry date on the back of the physical ticket. Some lotteries provide claim periods online under the Scratch-Off Games page.

Winnings from scratch-off games played online are deposited immediately into your account. However, different payout rules may apply for larger prizes and it’s important to be aware of the deadline for claiming jackpots.

Most scratch-off games allow you to claim your winnings within one year however, don’t take this for granted. Check your ticket expiry date to be sure you don’t lose out when trying to redeem your scratch card.

When Do Lottery Tickets Expire?

Lottery claim periods differ depending on the game you purchased a ticket for, which country you’re playing in, and even which state. Cut-off dates can range from 60 days to a year or more. Whether you’re playing one lottery game or several popular lotteries at the same time, setting a reminder will help you make claims before your winning ticket expires.

Expiry Timelines by Lottery

Use these tables to guide you through the different claim periods for the most popular lottery games worldwide. These reference lists will help you set up your reminders correctly.

A quick tip: While most expiration dates are taken into account from the official draw day, some lotteries use the ticket purchase date.

General List

LotteryClaim Period
Superenalotto90 days
Mega Sena (Brazil)90 days
Lotto 6/49 (Canada)12 months
Australia Oz Lotto3 years
Powerball, Lotto, Daily Lotto (South Africa)1 year
Toto (Singapore)180 days
Irish Lotto90 days

Eurojackpot

Do Lottery Tickets Expire? How to Know if the Ticket Is Expired? (2)

Knowing how to claim Eurojackpot prizes ensures you claim your winnings correctly. It can be confusing, since the rules differ between the different countries taking part in this game.

CountryClaim period
Austria3 years
Belgium140 days
France60 days
Ireland90 days
Luxembourg60 days
Portugal90 days
Spain30 days
Switzerland180 days
UK180 days
Sweden90 days

Euromillions

Do Lottery Tickets Expire? How to Know if the Ticket Is Expired? (3)

If you’re an avid Euromillions player, be aware that the claim periods are shorter than most US lottery games. Playing online is one way of making sure you don’t miss a prize.

This table highlights the deadlines for claiming Euromillions winnings depending on where your ticket was purchased.

CountryClaim period
Austria3 years
Belgium140 days
France60 days
Ireland90 days
Luxembourg60 days
Portugal90 days
Switzerland180 days
UK180 days

US Powerball and Mega Millions

Do Lottery Tickets Expire? How to Know if the Ticket Is Expired? (4)

When claiming Powerball prizes in the US make sure you know the claim periods for each state. Most winnings must be claimed within 180 days but some states give you up to one year grace period! This list clarifies it for you.

StateClaim period (from official draw date)
Arizona180 days
Arkansas180 days
California1 year (jackpot) and 180 days (other prizes)
Colorado180 days
Connecticut180 days
Delaware1 year
Florida180 days
Georgia180 days
Idaho180 days
Illinois1 year
Indiana180 days
Iowa180 days
Kansas1 year
Kentucky180 days
Louisiana180 days
Maine1 year
Maryland182 days
Massachuset1 year
Michigan1 year
Minnesota1 year
Mississippi180 days
Missouri180 days
Montana180 days
Nebraska180 days
New Hampshire1 year
New Jersey1 year
New Mexico90 days
New York1 year
North Carolina180 days
North Dakota180 days
Ohio180 days
Oklahoma180 days
Oregon1 year
Pennsylvania1 year
Puerto Rico180 days
Rhode Island180 days
South Carolina180 days
South Dakota180 days
Tennessee180 days
Texas180 days
US Virgin Islands6 months
Vermont1 year
Virginia180 days
Washington State180 days
Washington DC180 days
West Virginia180 days
Wisconsin180 days
Wyoming180 days

Do Lottery Tickets Expire? How to Know if the Ticket Is Expired? (5)

In general, Mega Millions has the same claim period for each state as Powerball, but there are some differences. Familiarizing yourself with the different expiry dates will ensure you claim Mega Million prizes timeously. Take special note of the following:

  • US Virgin Islands: Claims must be made within 6 months.
  • Maryland: Redeem your winning ticket within 182 days.
  • New Mexico: Cut-off for claims is within 90 days.
  • California: Jackpot prizes must be claimed within 1 year while other wins have a claim period of 180 days.

Viking Lotto

Do Lottery Tickets Expire? How to Know if the Ticket Is Expired? (6)

When learning how to play Vikinglotto, you’ll discover that players love this game for its impressive jackpots. While most countries that participate in this lottery game have one year to claim their prizes there are a few exceptions worth noting.

Norway, Finland, and Sweden players can register for a player card for both online and in-store tickets. All winnings are paid automatically into the player card or bank account. Winnings not claimed within 60 days by players in Denmark, Finland, and Sweden are deposited into their registered bank accounts.

If the prizes haven’t been deposited into either the player card or registered bank account, winners in Denmark, Finland, and Sweden have one year to claim their prizes.

CountryClaim period
Denmark1 year
Estonia90 days
Finland1 year
Iceland1 year
Latvia30 days
Lithuania60 days
Norway1 year
Slovenia90 days
Sweden1 year

How Do I Know if My Ticket Has Expired?

The best way to find out if your ticket has expired is to check the lottery agent’s website. All claim periods for the different games will be outlined under the lottery game you played. If you purchased a physical ticket, the deadline date will be printed on the back of the card. You can also contact the lottery agent’s head office for more information.

Final Thoughts

Losing the millions of your dreams is a nightmare that can haunt lottery players but checking the rules and regulations of the game ensures you claim your winnings before the expiry date.

Never make the assumption that the same expiry date applies to all lotteries! Different countries, states, and lottery organizations stipulate various claim periods.

Knowing how to play the game is one thing! But, familiarizing yourself with the main lottery rules and regulations by country will ensure you never miss the cut-off date for claiming a win!

FAQ

Why do people’s tickets expire?

Some players forget to check their tickets or don’t double-check their numbers because a jackpot winner has already been announced (and it wasn’t you!) A winner may let their winning ticket expire because they can’t stay anonymous.

Other lottery players forget to watch out for the results or lose their tickets only to find them long after the expiry date. Other people get caught up with their work and family life, completely forgetting they even played the lottery! Avid players play more than one lottery game every week and could forget one of the games they played.

To avoid this from happening, make sure you keep your lottery tickets in a safe place and set a reminder on your phone to check them after a draw. You could also put a reminder on the expiry date if for some reason you don’t check your ticket as soon as the results are in.

What is the biggest jackpot that was never claimed?

Unfortunately, some HUGE jackpots have never been claimed, and while we’ll never know why, it could have been something as simple as losing a ticket. The biggest jackpot that was never claimed was £64 million drawn in the Euromillions game dated December 5, 2012. The winning ticket was purchased in Hertfordshire, UK.

A jackpot of $77 million went down as one of the biggest Powerball lottery winnings not to be claimed. Out there is an unknown Georgia ticket holder who has far exceeded their 180 day claim period after the draw took place on June 29, 2011.

Can expired tickets be entered into second-chance winnings?

Expired lottery tickets can’t be entered into second-chance winnings and deadlines have never been extended for late claimers. However, there are opportunities for scratch card losers to replay their losing ticket in some US states.

If you’re sitting with a heap of scratch-off tickets that are about to expire, enter them into other games before the 180-day expiry date.

Second-chance lotteries let you play your losing ticket as long as they haven’t expired but you don’t win large prizes this way. These types of lotteries may only offer cars or holidays as a prize but at least it’s something to do with your losing lottery tickets!

What happens to unclaimed lottery winnings?

With so many winners never claiming their prizes what happens to unclaimed lottery winning? Typically, the monies go back to the organizations who sold the tickets but this may differ between countries and the rules and regulations guiding lottery games.

Unclaimed winnings from a Mega Millions draw will go back to the states who sold the tickets. On the other hand, the UK National Lottery allocates unclaimed prizes to the organization’s Good Cause Fund. In South Africa, any unclaimed lottery win is handed over to the country’s National Lotteries Distribution Trust Fund where it’s decided which good cause to allocate the funds to.

Will I be notified if I win?

Online lottery sites such as LottoLand pay your winnings immediately into your account no matter how big or small the prize is. This saves you from having to collect your jackpot in person! Other online sites may email you to let you know you have won a big prize while most lottery platforms automatically deposit small prizes into your ewallet.

If you win a prize on one of the National Lotteries, a notification will be sent to your online account. Most banks will inform you if you’ve won a prize using their banking app to play the lottery. However, in most cases, it’s up to the winner to notify the lottery organizer when they’ve won a prize.

Do Lottery Tickets Expire? How to Know if the Ticket Is Expired? (2024)

FAQs

Do Lottery Tickets Expire? How to Know if the Ticket Is Expired? ›

Yes, lottery tickets do have expiration dates, and these vary based on the type of lottery and the state where the ticket was purchased. It's essential for lottery participants to be aware of these dates to ensure they don't miss out on potential winnings.

How long are Mega Millions lottery tickets good for? ›

Ticket expiration dates typically vary from 90 days to one year form the draw date depending on the selling jurisdiction, per the Mega Millions and Powerball websites.

How long are your Powerball numbers good for? ›

Your draw game ticket must be postmarked or received by Lottery offices within 180 days of the winning draw date, except that, in the case of Mega Millions and Powerball Jackpots, the tickets must be postmarked or received within one year from the winning draw date.

What does it mean to validate a lottery ticket? ›

Validation Stamp:If the ticket is a winning ticket and the terminal confirms it, the retailer or lottery official may stamp the ticket. This stamp indicates that the ticket has been validated as a winning ticket.

Can you cash in expired lottery tickets in Texas? ›

However, if the person does not make a claim, the commission wrote, "a ticket holder forfeits any claim to a prize for a draw game after the expiration of the 180th day following the draw date." There is an extension for eligible military personnel, according to the commission.

Is there an expiration date for Mega Millions? ›

Mega Millions winners who match all five white ball numbers have 180 days from the drawing date to claim their prize. If no one claims $2.9 million by this weekend, all the money will go to public schools in California, the lottery said.

Is a Powerball ticket good for multiple drawings? ›

When you buy a Powerball ticket at the store, unless you pay for multiple drawings, it is only valid for the next drawing. In other words, if your Powerball ticket doesn't win, it's not eligible to win in future drawings, unless you specifically pay for multiple drawings.

What happens if you get all 5 numbers but not the Powerball? ›

Matching three main numbers and the Powerball or four main numbers, that's a $100 payout. To land a $50,000 prize, you'll have to match four main numbers and the Powerball. If you match five main numbers but not the Powerball, your ticket is worth $1 million.

How long does it take to get your money if you win the Powerball? ›

Your first annuity payment, or the single cash option payment, should arrive within six to eight weeks. There are generally no California state taxes for Lottery prizes, but we are required to withhold federal taxes.

What is ticket validation? ›

Ticket validation is the process of proving that a rider's travel documentation is valid.

How do you secure a winning lottery ticket? ›

And while this might seem obvious, don't forget to document your win. Make copies of both sides of your lottery ticket, and then lock it up somewhere only you can access it.

What does scratch card validation mean? ›

Scratch cards undergo validation checks before a prize can be awarded, including verifying the scratch card's authenticity and ensuring it has not been tampered with.

Do Mega Millions tickets expire in Texas? ›

How long is a winning ticket valid? Draw Game (Lotto Texas, Mega Millions, Powerball, Cash Five, Pick 3, Daily 4, Texas Two Step and All or Nothing) winning tickets are valid for 180 days from the date of the drawing.

Can I use my debit card to buy lottery tickets in Texas? ›

How Can Players Pay for Tickets. Credit cards are never accepted for Texas Lottery ® purchases. The only acceptable forms of payment are: cash, debit card, check and Texas Lottery issued coupons and vouchers. It is a retailer violation to accept credit card payment for Texas Lottery purchases.

How much tax do you pay on a $1 000 lottery ticket in Texas? ›

The Texas Lottery Commission is required to report lottery winnings over $600, or when the prize is at least 300 times the amount of the per board wager, to the Internal Revenue Service. For prizes over $600, the Texas Lottery Commission is required to withhold 24% for lottery winnings, less the wager.

How much do you win if you get 2 numbers in Mega Millions? ›

If you match one regular number and the Mega Ball, the prize is $4. If you match two white balls only, there is no prize. You can win a Mega Millions payout with one of nine different number combinations, and the prizes range from $2 to the jackpot.

What is the next drawing for Mega Millions? ›

Mega Millions® drawings are held Tuesday and Friday at 11:00 pm ET.

What are the rules for the Mega Millions? ›

Mega Millions® tickets cost $2.00 per play. Players may pick six numbers from two separate pools of numbers - five different numbers from 1 to 70 (the white balls) and one number from 1 to 25 (the gold Mega Ball) - or select Easy Pick/Quick Pick. You win the jackpot by matching all six winning numbers in a drawing.

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