Coronavirus - Information for our Players

Here's what you need to know

Every time you play a National Lottery game, you help raise around £30Million every week for good causes all over the UK. And now, more than ever, that’s really important.

Thanks to you

Thanks to you, up to £600Million of National Lottery funding is going to projects around the UK to help tackle the impact of coronavirus.

Hundreds of millions of pounds will benefit those projects at the forefront of the crisis – from supporting food banks to causes that combat loneliness and isolation, help for the elderly and projects that support health organisations in the community.

The funding will also span the arts, heritage, education, environment and sport, ensuring that National Lottery funding is deployed at scale in what is the UK's biggest non-governmental contribution to combat the effects of coronavirus. Thank you.

Stay safe

In the current situation while we are all being urged to #StayHomeSaveLives, we are encouraging players to check results and play online or on the National Lottery app, and to only buy their tickets in retail as part of their essential shop.

Here’s how:

  • Play online or on our app; it is quick and easy to set up an account
  • You will be notified when you win
  • You can set up notifications to keep updated
  • We want to help you play within your limits. Online you can change your spend and play settings at any time
  • Online prizes of up to and including £500 will be paid automatically into your National Lottery account
  • Play when you choose, so you can enter your favourite draws when it’s most convenient for you

If you are going to play National Lottery games in retail when buying essentials, here are some tips on how to play it safe:

  • Ask for a Lucky Dip to avoid using playslips and pens
  • Give your regular numbers to the shop assistant verbally so they can manually input them into the National Lottery terminal

Prize payouts

If you’re a winner – congratulations! – you have 180 days to claim your prize. This means:

  • All draw-based game prizes must be claimed within 180 days after the day of the draw
  • Instant Win Game prizes must be claimed within 180 days after the day you bought the Instant Win Game
  • Scratchcard prizes must be claimed within 180 days after the game closes. See a list of Scratchcard game closure dates

We would encourage you not to go out specifically to claim a retail prize – only do this as part of your essential shop – and remember that 180 days is a long time (about six months).

Online prizes up to and including £500 will be paid automatically into your National Lottery account.

To claim your winnings (hurrah!) for online prizes over £500 and up to and including £30,000, you'll need to confirm the prize should be paid to the debit card registered to your National Lottery account (before 11.00pm on the last day of the claim period). You can do this via the message we send to your online account for Draw-based Games or via the prize notification when you finish a game for Instant Win Games.

If you’ve been lucky enough to win an online prize over £30,000 and up to and including £50,000, please call us on 0333 234 44 33.

If you've been really lucky and won over £50,000, please call us on 0333 234 50 50.

You can also claim via post, but due to the COVID-19 outbreak, we have seen a significant increase in postal claims and it’s taking us longer than usual to process these. To help us handle prize claims as efficiently and quickly as possible, please remember you have 180 days to claim your prize and can do so at any time during this period.

  • To claim your prize by post, send your winning ticket to: The National Lottery, PO Box 287, Watford WD18 9TT
  • If you are lucky enough to have won a prize over £5,000, you will need to send a completed Prize Claim Form with your ticket

Retail update – 14th May 2020

We've issued guidance to our retail partners on safe ways to play National Lottery games and how players can claim prizes in-store during this time.

If your local retailer(s) is not selling National Lottery products or paying prizes at this time, we would ask you to respect this as they are best placed to make decisions about the safety and well-being of their staff and customers. We are aware, however, that the vast majority of retailers continue to sell tickets and pay prizes. So, although we do not advise you to make a special trip (and to only buy tickets or claim prizes if you're already in a store as part of your essential shop), in most cases, there should be a retailer in your area who is able to assist you.

Please remember that you have 180 days to claim any National Lottery prize (see 'Prize payouts’ section above for more info). If claiming in store is a problem, you can also claim by post. The address for postal claims can be found on the back of the ticket and we advise you to send claims at your earliest convenience. We have seen a significant increase in postal claims during this period and will endeavour to get your prize to you as soon as possible.

There are a number of ways you can check your tickets. If you’re not sure where to start, head over to the ‘Help with checking results’ section on the Help & Contact us page or go directly to Results.

Please remember that prizes claimed by post are done so at your own risk. We are unable to accept responsibility for tickets, Prize Claim Forms or any other accompanying documentation lost, damaged or delayed in the post.

Dream Big Play Small

National Lottery games aren't just fun to play, they're also designed to help you stay in control and encourage a lot of people to play a little. We don’t want you to spend more than you can afford. Use our handy toolkit to set your spend and play limits, set up reminders or take time out. You can also use our budget calculator to help you work out how you spend your money each month. For further information, please take a look at our Responsible Play page.

If you are worried about yourself or someone you know, you can speak to someone in confidence at GamCare on 0808 8020 133 or visit the GamCare website.

Here to help

If you have more questions, you can find help here on our website, including information on frequently asked questions and helpful answers on an array of topics.

Or you can contact us on 0333 234 44 33 (8am – 8pm Monday to Saturday and 9am – 5pm Sunday). We are doing our best, but there may be delays to normal levels of service due to increased calls into our teams at this time. Please bear with us.

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