Hapless UK lottery players have missed out on more than GB£ 2 billion in unclaimed prizes over the last two decades, according to research by Global Betting and Gaming Consultants.

In the most recent financial year 2018/19, just over GB£ 125 million in prizes went unclaimed, up 2% on the previous year.

Over time, there is an upward trend for the amount of unclaimed lottery prizes. This is not surprising, given that the total amount of prizes available has also been generally increasing.

What is more surprising is the fact that unclaimed prizes as a percentage of prizes available refuses to fall below the 3% threshold. A quarter of sales is now made through interactive channels. It might have been expected that this would help reduce unclaimed prizes because tickets cannot be lost or damaged and even the smallest wins are automatically credited to the player’s account.

The lottery used to say “It could be you!”. If it is, for goodness sake, claim the prize.


Marcus: ‘In what way is you winning the lottery 50-50?’
Grumio: ‘Either I will win it, or I won’t.’