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What happens in the event a National Lottery ticket is damaged?

The winning numbers for the UK's biggest ever Lotto jackpot of £66m. Credit: PA

A woman has come forward to claim half of a £66m National Lottery jackpot but has said the ticket is faded as it went through the wash.

According to the owner of a newsagent in Worcester, the "rather nervous" woman brought in a ticket with the winning numbers, but the date and barcode were faded.

So what happens next?

Lottery operator Camelot says that anyone who thinks they have a prize-winning ticket that may have been lost, stolen, destroyed or damaged must do the following in order for a claim to be considered at its discretion.

  • Contact them immediately in writing providing specific details relating to the ticket, such as the date, time and place it was bought from, the draw date, the numbers chosen or whether it was a Lucky Dip.
  • Outline what they think has happened to the ticket, ie, it got caught up in the wash.
  • Send in their notification to Camelot or a specific email address no later than 30 days after the relevant draw. Any claims received after this time will not be considered.
  • In the case of a damaged ticket, it must also be sent to Camelot.
The newsagent in Worcester where the £33m ticket was reportedly purchased. Credit: SWNS

How will Camelot make a decision on whether to pay out?

  • Once the claim has been received, Camelot at its discretion will investigate if "sufficient" information has been provided and consider if the claim is valid.
  • If it is deemed to be valid, the lottery operator can pay out the prize "within a reasonable time after the end of the claim period".
  • The prize can be paid out up to 180 days after the draw date.