A LOTTO expert has revealed the steps you need to take to claim your millions if you win.
Many of us have dreamed of winning the lottery and bagging enough to start that jet-set lifestyle we’ve always dreamed of.
But what do you actually do if you manage to scoop the jackpot?
The National Lottery has to do rigorous checks to confirm whether you’ve actually won a prize to combat scammers and cheats.
Anita Perez has worked on the customer service team for 16 years at the Lotto and has personally informed many punters that they had become millionaires.
Unsurprisingly there is plenty of secrecy around the exact procedure for checking a winning ticket.
Anita told The Mirror: “We cannot share certain aspects but rest assured, the process is incredibly rigorous to ensure no stone is left unturned when it comes to confirming someone is the legitimate ticketholder.
“In the initial stages, information around which shop the winning ticket was bought in and what day and time it was purchased etc. is sought from the ticketholder and cross-checked.
“If this information is correctly provided, the claim is further investigated and when all checks have been passed, the claim is validated and paid out.
“The most important thing for ease of validation is to be in possession of your ticket and the required validation information.”
This means if you bought a paper ticket in-person from a retailer, the expert advises signing the back of it after purchase so you can confirm it is indeed yours if there’s a winning claim to make.
You may then want to put it away somewhere safe until after the draw, as the ticket itself is required to be shown during the validation stages.
She continued: “Every call we treat as a winning call, they’ve brought a product from us that wins money, so we check all the details in order to confirm the win and it’s amazing when you can do that.”
Anita added that emotions are running high on the other end of the line when she dishes out the good news.
She continued: “One of my most recent wins was a couple with a scratchcard for a million pounds, so for me to confirm the one million I had to count the zeros following on from the one to make sure that there are definitely six zeros and I’m not confirming something I shouldn’t.
“They were absolutely ecstatic, you could hear the laughter of the two in the background.
“But I’m most sympathetic to them when they cry, they literally sob sometimes. I’ve had one where I just had to step back and say ‘get it out of your system, I’m here’.”
One downside of her job is that Anita is not allowed to purchase her own lotto tickets because of company rules and regulations.
Players can buy and check their tickets online by downloading the National Lottery app or at national-lottery.co.uk.
And even if you lose your ticket for some reason and aren’t in possession of it, within 30 days of the draw there’s still a chance you could win if you believe you have a genuine claim.
All you have to do is make the claim in writing to Camelot.
However, if no-one comes forward with the winning ticket or tickets before the prize claim deadline, then the prize money – plus all the interest it has generated – will go to help National Lottery-funded projects across the UK.