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What to Do With Old Lottery Tickets?

Winning the lottery is a fantasy for players. But the odds are not in anyone’s favor. Millions of people play the lottery, but only very few people win the lottery or anything at all. You will need to be extremely lucky to be the winner. So it might not be surprising when you do not win anything in the drawings. Then you will be left with old lottery tickets.

When you do not win, it might be tempting to throw the paper straight into the dustbin. The ticket immediately seems useless. But you might be wrong. There may still be opportunities to use your losing ticket. So before you crumple your losing ticket and throw it in the trash, we recommend reading this guide. This guide contains tips on what to do with your old lottery ticket.

Are Old Lottery Tickets Worth Anything?

Old lottery tickets could be worth something. While they cannot be used for future draws, they can still provide some value for you depending on a few factors. Here are some situations where your old lottery tickets can be important.

Proof of Purchase

Your ticket slip contains your chosen lottery combination for the draw. Even more importantly, it serves as proof of purchase, recognizing you as the original owner of the ticket. This is especially useful when you want to claim your prize. The lottery organizer will request you tender your old lottery tickets. As long as you hold onto your tickets, you have a tangible record of your participation.

We recommend putting your signature on the back of your ticket, taking a picture with it, and keeping it in a safe place until the draw is concluded.

You Might Be Wrong

What if you were wrong? Fox Business reports that about $2 billion in lottery winnings have yet to be claimed. Nobody came forward with the winning ticket. Even if you have checked before, there is a slight chance you didn’t check it properly, especially if you were tense while reviewing your tickets. So when you are calm, try to recheck it to be sure you didn’t miss anything.

Before throwing your tickets away, you need to be absolutely sure it is not a winner. If you play online via lottery websites like theLotter, LottoAgent, Lottofy, and WinTrillions, you need not worry about this because they will pay out your winnings immediately to your online lottery account. They would even

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Second Chance Draws

Second chance draws are extra draws offered by some lotteries to give players a second opportunity to win prizes, even if they did not win in the initial lottery draw. If you don’t get lucky in the first draw, you might be lucky in the second draw. Before you dispose of your tickets, we recommend that you check if there is a second chance draw for you.

Tax Offsetting

Your old tickets can serve as proof to offset taxes when you finally win the lottery. Tax offsetting in lotteries refers to the ability to recover your gambling losses whenever you win the lottery for tax purposes.

Let’s explain it with this example. Let’s say you won $5,000 in the Powerball lottery and reside in Arizona. Using our Powerball tax calculator, you will find that you will be left with a lump sum payment of $2,165. Now, let’s say you spent $500 on lottery tickets before you finally won the prize. You will be able to deduct the $500 from your winnings before tax calculations come in. This way, you will be left with $2,445.

Your old tickets can serve as evidence to the government when filling the Form W-2 G for the tax to offset the amount of tax to be paid.

Things to Do With Old Non-winning Lottery Tickets

Now, you know that old tickets may be useful after all. Here are a few things that you can do with them.

Souvenirs and Keepsakes

Some people enjoy collecting old tickets. Even when the ticket is a losing one, you could keep them as a keepsake or a memento for the future. For instance, you could add them to your scrapbook to capture memories of when you came close to winning the lotteries. Over time, the collection can grow to become a unique, personalized decoration for your home.

Enter a Second Chance Program

As stated earlier, they could also be useful in secondhand lotteries. To better understand how secondhand lotteries differ and how it all works, we’ve included how different organizers handle secondary lotteries.

US Lotteries

Most US states have second chance lotteries alongside the main draw to help players turn a non-winning ticket into another chance to win. The prizes and amount vary by state. They also have different rules and regulations. You can learn more about the second chance lottery in your state by visiting their website.

The following states below offer second hand draws.

European Lotteries

Popular European lotteries like the Euromillions and UK National Lottery also offer second-chance lotteries. A good example is the Euromillions lottery in the United Kingdom. For every ticket a player buys, they will also be entered into the UK Millionaire Maker game. The Switzerland version of the game has a second chance lottery called the 2 Chance draw. As expected, the rules and regulations vary depending on the participating countries. So you’ll need to learn the laws of your country of residence.

Australian Lotteries

You can also find second-chance draws in Australian draws. Popular examples are Instant Scratch-its Australia and Keno Monthly. These games allow players to have another go at the prize, whether they win or lose the first draw.

Recycle Them

You should consider recycling them instead of dumping them in the trash. All papers can be recycled. If your lottery ticket is made from materials other than paper, check for the recycling symbol at the back. Another way to know if it is recyclable is to rip it. If it rips easily, then it is made of paper and can be recycled. If not, it is probably made of foil or plastic and not recyclable. Recycling can help us to reduce waste from lottery activities.

Use Them as Art

You can show your creativity by using lottery tickets to make art. Maybe something like a collage or paste on pictures. If you need the motivation to know what you can make, we recommend you look at the dream home design by Adam Eckstrom and Lauren Was, two university graduates from the Rhodes Island of Design. They used over $150,000 worth of lottery tickets for different art types.

Sell Your Old Tickets

You can make some money by selling your old tickets to lottery ticket collectors or lotologists. There are lottery enthusiasts out there who can pay you to acquire your old tickets. People list their lottery-losing tickets on the eBay auction websites for as high as $200.

Should You Keep Your Old Lottery Tickets?

Whether to keep your old lottery tickets depends on your preferences and circumstances. Holding onto them allows you to use them as proof of purchase, a second chance draw entry, and offset lottery tax payments. You could also sell them to ticket collectors. Ultimately, deciding whether to keep them and how long to keep them is yours.


Can you make money with losing lottery tickets?

Yes, you can make money by losing lottery tickets. They could win you something if you get lucky in the secondhand draw. You could also profit from them by selling them to a lottery ticket collector.

What to do with old scratch off lottery tickets?

Like regular lottery tickets, you can keep them as a souvenir. You can also use them to make art or sell them to a lottery collector online.

What to do with old winning lottery tickets?

Old winning tickets are special. Unlike losing tickets, they brought money for you. So you may want to hold on to them for a while. You could keep them as a reminder for when you won the lottery.

Can you cash in old lottery tickets?

You can only cash in old lottery tickets if the claim period has not expired. If not, you can only make money off them by selling them to the lotologists.

Should you throw away old lottery tickets?

You should only throw them away when you are sure they have no use for you. Even then, you can probably still put them to good use by converting them to art or trading them to lottery ticket collectors.

How many times can you use the same lottery ticket?

You can only use a lottery ticket once in a draw. Lottery tickets are single-use so they have no value after the draw is completed unless you win something.

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