An email just came our way from a lottery player whose ticket had somehow gotten damaged, and the person wanted to know if we could still check it to see if it was a winner. We asked the player to send the ticket to us here at lottery headquarters so we can see if it can still be scanned.
I emphasize the “IF” part of that statement, because in some cases, it may not be possible for us to determine the outcome of a ticket. If it’s ruined/damaged to the point that key information on the ticket is no longer clear, we won’t be able to check the ticket to determine its status.
Here are a couple examples we’ve seen through the years. In one instance, we were able to validate the ticket involved, but in the other, there wasn’t enough information left to go on.
Back in 2015, we got a very funny inquiry from a Waterloo woman who sent us an adorable picture of her dog along with the remains of a scratch ticket that the dog had chewed up. The woman was able to find most of the mangled pieces of the ticket and taped them back together before sending it to us. (That’s the picture you see here.) In that instance, our security team was able to find enough information on the ticket to determine that she had indeed won a $5 prize.
And then in 2016, a player emailed us to say that in the process of trying to steam open a greeting card, she put the card and the lotto tickets it contained in the microwave. When she took the card out, the lottery tickets inside had turned completely black.
That’s because tickets in our lotto games are printed on thermal paper. Heat is used to print the numbers and logos on the front of the ticket. And if you apply heat to an entire ticket, the whole surface will turn black.
In that instance, we unfortunately weren’t able to read anything on the tickets involved to determine if any of them had won a prize.
So, if your lottery ticket ends up getting damaged and you have questions about the prize it may have won, we’ll do our best to help figure that out. Just know that in some instances, that may not be possible.