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Unclaimed Scratch Cards - What Happens To Unclaimed Prizes?

Unclaimed Scratch Cards - What Happens To Unclaimed Prizes?

Each year, millions of pounds worth of prizes from scratch cards go unclaimed. Whether it's a forgotten ticket or an overlooked win, these unclaimed rewards add up quickly. But what occurs with these unclaimed prizes? How long do you have to claim a scratch card win? Let's dive into these mysteries, exploring the topic of unclaimed scratch card prizes in this UK Online Slots

Unclaimed Scratch Cards - Remaining Prizes in UK

It's not a rarity for scratch card players to forget that they have purchased a card or even fail to realise they've won a prize. In 2019, it was reported that over £125 million in prizes from scratch cards had not been claimed. That's a staggering figure, resulting from players not realising they have a winning card or forgetting to collect their winnings. 

Often, the money won from scratch cards may seem too insignificant to bother claiming. After all, the most frequent winnings from scratch cards usually range from £2 to £20. However, there are occasional instances of people winning large amounts from scratch cards. 

Thousands of people play scratch cards each day, and if many fail to collect their prizes, the unclaimed prize pool swells. 

The unclaimed prizes from scratch cards don't simply evaporate or get pocketed by the lottery companies. They are often donated to a good cause or added to the prize pool of the next draw. In some cases, they contribute to various community projects and causes around the UK. 

What Happens To Unclaimed Scratch Card Prizes?

Unclaimed scratch card prizes usually end up being donated to worthy causes all over the UK. Some of the unclaimed winnings may be added to the next draw's prizes until a winner claims them, but they more often than not contribute to different good causes and community projects. 

The fate of unclaimed prizes isn't limited to scratch cards. Unclaimed lottery prizes also contribute to a surprising total. Unlike scratch cards, lottery prizes are typically larger, and as a result, the National Lottery is more likely to actively search for the winner if the prize remains unclaimed. 

Unclaimed winnings, if not claimed within the 180-day window, are redirected towards various charitable causes across the UK. For instance, in 2020, a staggering £58 million from the March EuroMillions draw went unclaimed and was subsequently added to the Good Causes pot.

How Long Do You Have To Claim Scratch Cards?

Scratch cards have an expiration date in terms of prize collection. In general, scratch cards expire 180 days after the game close date, though this period can vary from one provider to another. If you bought your scratch card from the National Lottery, you have 180 days from the date of the game closing to claim your prize. Other companies may offer a longer or shorter claim period. You can typically find this information on the scratch card itself. 

If you don't claim the prize in time, rest assured that your unclaimed scratch card prize doesn't go to waste or remain with the lottery company; it goes towards charitable causes. 


In conclusion, each lottery company has a different procedure for handling unclaimed scratch cards. But usually, you have up to 180 days to claim your winnings. According to the National Lottery policy, unclaimed prizes are held for 180 days for collection. If they remain unclaimed after this period, they will be donated to charitable organisations and projects.