Friday, 23 September 2016

Scratchcard Scam

There is a scam going on in the UK’s National Lottery scratch cards. How do I know? Why because I only just found out that I had been hit by it today.

Everyone A Winner

I had bought some lottery scratch cards sometime ago (at least 180 days plus it appears), but had forgotten I had them. Today I found them again and scrapped the silver foil off, and found that out of £3.00 worth of cards, I had won the grand sum of £2.00 back. Not a great amount I grant you, but hey, its 2/3rds of the money spent.

So I merrily skipped down the road to the local lottery counter, and handed them over, in the expectation of two shiny pound coins being delivered into my grubby little hands.

After a few minutes of scanning the bar codes, and looking at the front of the cards to confirm that they were ‘winners’, the young lady developed a frown, and returned to me saying that the bar-codes were coming back as ‘not a valid game’.

I was now £2.00 out of pocket, and all she could suggest was getting in touch with the National Lottery company, Camelot. I fully intended to do this, but decided to try and read the ‘small print' on the back of the cards. I was hardly able to do so, and resorted to using my phone camera to magnify the print. Where I was informed that each game could be ended by the lottery company, and any monies not claimed back would be lost, if not reclaimed inside 180 days of the games closure.

... There's Always A Catch

Now in this instance I had lost £2.00, but what if that had been the £100,000 first prize?

Closing the game is one thing, but not paying out on tickets sold and bought in good faith is entirely another, and smacks of misrepresentation ... certainly not acting fairly. I can only suggest that you don’t buy tickets as Christmas or birthdays gifts for the future. Oh, and what would I done if that had been the first prize on one of those tickets?

Why sued of course. If natural justice ever existed in UK law with it inherent requirement of a "duty to act fairly", then it would suggest that the lottery company wouldn’t have a leg to stand on in an open court.


  1. I have never seen a notice that a game was going to be, or had been closed at a lottery salespoint.

    1. Neither have I, and that's what naff's me off. Thanks for the comment.

  2. I can't help thinking that there should be some time limit on claiming, perhaps more than 180 days though.

    1. Maybe for amounts under say £100 but large wins should be honoured.


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