The idea that most people have about winning the jackpot or a large major prizein the lottery, is that they simply need to present their ticket to the operator or regulator who then validates the ticket and has the winner walk out with a multimillion-dollar cheque in their pocket.
This is not really what happens when you actually go to claim a jackpot or large lottery win.
In fact, it’s a little more complicated than that, and knowing what happens beforehand can reduce your stress and anxiety while you wait for your money.
In most cases, winning claimants will be required to first present their original signed ticket, not any type of copy whatsoever, and in cases where the ticket was validated as a winner at a retailer, the customer receipt provided by the validating retailer.
However, any and all documentation you can provide in addition to these will help the verification process immensely.
For example, if you have the original purchase receipt showing the date, location, and amount of the lottery ticket purchase, you have just cut the investigation and validation time down.
If you made the purchase other than with cash, a printout of your bank statement for your debit card, or statement for your credit card, can also provide proof that you actually purchased the ticket.
And surveillance footage of the lottery terminal showing you purchasing your ticket will be pulled, if available.
Claimants must also present at least two forms of identification, usually one government issued id and one picture id, although depending on the jurisdiction, some other types of id may be allowed/required/not accepted.
Again, the more id you can give to prove that you are you, the faster they can confirm that you are you and issue you your money.
One excellent form of ID is a passport. Your birth certificate, social security or social insurance card, and driver’s licence are all good pieces of id as well.
And you will have to fill out the required winner claim forms in full.
These forms usually want your name, full address, phone number, whether you are a lottery retailer or other person associated with the gaming industry, such as employed by a lottery retailer, or related to a retailer or anyone working in the gaming industry.
There will also be some declaration and release clauses, where and when you bought the ticket, and the name of the retailer.
You may be required to have a face-to-face interview with one or more members of the validation team.
This interview may be random or targeted depending on the information you have provided to the validation team and on the claim forms. They may ask you similar questions to the form to see if you give the same answers, or ask you trick questions to see what answers you give.
They are not purposefully trying to trip you up. They are just ensuring that the information you gave to claim your prize is honest and true.
Depending on the information that is verified or discovered during the validation process, it could take a couple of hours to several weeks or more before a cheque will be issued or direct deposit arrangements can be made for the winning amount.
Some of the issues that could delay a payout are a suspicious ticket, inconsistencies in claim form/interview answers, or odd behavior during the claim process.
There have been instances of people claiming the wins on behalf of the real winner, claims on found tickets, or other types of fraudulent information provided for one reason or another.
This process makes certain that the actual and real winner of the prize is you and that you are entitled to it.
It is to prevent someone else from claiming your winnings.
If everything checks out ok, then the process of cutting the cheque, or making direct deposits, can begin.
Congratulations! You have been verified to be the winner.
So if you win, have patience, cooperate fully, be nice and polite, and reap the rewards of your good fortune.