New National Lottery rules explained - and why winners are waiting for pay outs (2024)

A new takeover of the National Lottery by company Allwyn has changed the way people with winning tickets claim their prizes - but the new rules are causing delays and some have been left without receiving their money.

New National Lottery rules explained - and why winners are waiting for pay outs (1)

New changes to the rules of the National Lottery mean that winners are struggling to get their hands on their prize money.

The National Lottery was taken over by Allwyn, a multi-national lottery operator, from Camelot in February of this year and with the acquisition, new rules have emerged. This has changed the way winners are able to collect their prize money as the Post Office are no longer handing out rewards this large as previously. This means that many have been left waiting weeks for their money to come through.

The new rules stipulate that winners of between £500 and £50,000 on Lottery games must follow the online process to receive their money, providing their name, address, contact details and email - as well as a Prize Claim Form - within 180 days of their win. They must also send their physical ticket into the office. But this has led to huge delays for some winners, who previously would have been able to pick up their money within hours or days of their win.

Sergei Cofie-Squire, from Toxteth, won £1,500 with a ticket he purchased from WHSmith on March 19 but is still waiting to receive his money. The 61 year-old has planned to spend his winnings on a holiday to Dubai but has expressed his frustration that despite sending in his ticket weeks ago, he still hasn't seen a penny.

He told the Liverpool Echo: "I have been in touch many times because I won on March 19. I have followed all the procedures and I'm still waiting. I've rang numerous times. Half the time I felt like I was talking to a brick wall. I could understand a seven day delay, but not four weeks, which is unacceptable."

"I'm a very regular Lottery player. You've got to be in it to win it. On March 19 I won the £1,500, so I went to the Post Office to try and collect my cheque, but I was told a new company had taken over. They give you a website you go to and put in all the details required, which is a photo of the winning ticket, front and back, and they then send you a QR code. Then you have to go to the Post Office with that code, and post the original ticket to them (Allwyn).

With proof that his ticket was received by the National Lottery management on the 4th April, Sergei is desperate to receive his prize but has been told that the delays are due to "inherited problems" within the new company. He explained: "Why do I have to wait so long to collect my winnings? I'm told it's a teething problem, but I say they should have thought of that before switching over. It's beginning to feel like a joke. All the processes I have gone through, and I've heard nothing from them."

"They have to see my point. I played the Lottery and paid my money and have won fairly, and have verified my ticket. But up to now I have been dragged from pillar to post. If there is a problem they should make an official announcement so people don't get frustrated."

But Sergei is not the only one still being kept waiting for their Lottery winnings. Taxi driver, Ray Laird, landed £800 after buying a ticker from a local corner shop in Merseyside on March 2. The 69 year-old, who admits he "can't do the online stuff", had his daughter submit his details and send in his winning ticket on his behalf, as per the new rules.

He told the Liverpool Echo: "She did everything they asked and sent the tickets off. It was £800 I won. I phoned last week to enquire when I'm getting this money. Someone on the phone said to me 'well if you played online you wouldn't have this trouble' I thought this is disgusting. I have bought tickets from 1994 why should I change now?"

The frustrated cabbie, who wants to put the money towards his mortgage whilst he struggles with bills, was informed over the phone that he would receive his cheque the coming Friday and if not then, the Monday after. Yet, his money never arrived and on Thursday April 11, he called again but was on the line for over an hour.

He said: "£800 would have paid my mortgage this month. I'm a taxi driver, I'm struggling as it is. I'm 69 and still working so I can pay my mortgage. Times are tough at the moment, they are tough for everyone and I'm being crucified off the taxman for working and getting my pension, but I have to work. You can't win. Everyone is struggling so as soon as you get extra cash it is a relief of stress on your bills, we all need that relief."

He recalled that last week he picked a 93 year-old woman from the hospital who could barely afford the lift home. He accepted a smaller fare for the ride, explaining: "That woman had worked all her life in the hospital and now she is worrying about getting home, this is what we are living in today. Then today I'm paying for a job to get done on my car which is another expense. It's overly frustrating."

In response, an Allwyn spokesperson said: ""This is a new claims process we’ve had to introduce following the Post Office's decision to no longer pay National Lottery retail prizes between £500.01 and £50,000. As a result of it being new, we’ve been experiencing higher volumes of players contacting us and some initial delays to players receiving their prizes.

"We've since increased the number of colleagues to assist with claims – which is helping us send out prizes more quickly – and are continuing to work to make improvements to the process. For example, we recently started a trial where anyone winning under £1,000 no longer needs to send in their winning ticket to us to help speed up the process. We're also reminding players that prizes of up to £500 can still be paid out in store."

Details of how to claim prize money from any of the National Lottery games can be found on the website.

New National Lottery rules explained - and why winners are waiting for pay outs (2024)


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