'I was left feeling like a criminal after my winning lottery scratchcard cheque bounced'

A cheque book
There are reports winning cheques have bounced
George Bunn

By George Bunn

Published: 16/03/2024

- 12:48

People have been left waiting for weeks for their winnings

Lottery scratch card winners are being left feeling like "criminals" after their winnings cheques bounced.

Paul Simpson, 69, won an £800 prize from new Lotto operator Allwyn, and spent weeks chasing it after a cheque failed to go through.

The former government worker was told by his bank TSB that the cheque wasn't paid because of "suspected fraud/counterfeit" and then was advised to ask for a new one or a bank transfer.

It was eventually settled more than a month later after he threatened a small claims court case.

A national lottery ticket

Players are now being asked to verify their winnings via phone or online


Simpson told The Sun that he was left feeling like a "criminal" and that: "I won't ever play that game again. If you win, it's like they want to wear you down so you just give up or lose your ticket."

Graham Crerar, 64, also spent five weeks trying to get his £800 prize winnings saying they are "dragging their heels" and it makes him feel like "I've done something wrong."

Allwyn who took over from Camelot as running the National Lottery, has altered the procedure for takings between £500 and £50,000.

The Swiss company wants players to verify their numbers via phone or online and then send their ticket by post for inspection before they receive any cash. It also wants those claiming money to provide their official ID and photographs of themselves.


Post Office terminated its contract with the Lottery\u200b

Post Office terminated its contract with the Lottery


Last year, The Post Office announced that its group contract with the National Lottery would be suspended meaning that around a fifth of branches are expected to stop selling the tickets and scratch cards.

The previous contract stated that the Post Office would cover the cost of the cards. However, individual shops must now pay for them themselves. The operator stated that 900 of the 4,800 branches that had previously stocked National Lottery products have not chosen to continue.

Allwyn stated that reasons ranged from religious beliefs to low sales of tickets.

The Post Office, who took around one per cent commission from each transaction, terminated its contract because postmasters wanted to get the full amount of cash from ticket and scratch card sales.

An Allwyn spokesman said: "This is a new claims process following the Post Office's decision to no longer pay National Lottery retail prizes between £500.01 and £50,000. As a result, we're experiencing a high volume of players contacting us.

"We're sorry for any delays and have increased the number of colleagues to assist players with their claims, which is helping them get their prizes more quickly.

"We'd like to reassure any affected players that they will receive their prizes and to remind them that prizes of up to £500 can still be paid out in store."

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