OMG you’ve hit the jackpot. What happens now?
It’s a dream come true. You’ve matched all six numbers on Lotto. You’ve done it – you’ve hit the jackpot! You’re probably in shock, panic or pure ecstasy. So what actually happens next? Everyone’s had the ‘what would you do?’ conversation but what about the bit between realising you have won a life-changing amount and actually getting the money in your hands? Read on to find out…
Make that winning call
The first thing to do (after you’ve had a cup of tea, run around the room or screamed with joy) is to call us. Our number is on the back of the ticket or on our website. We have a team of call agents on standby until 11pm on Saturday night to take your call. What an amazing job that is!
They will try and get some details out of you to make sure that you have a winning ticket for that draw. They will ask for various numbers on the ticket, including the all-important six in the middle, and will check our records before saying that, yes, although we haven’t validated your ticket it does look like you have won. They will also ensure that you have put your name and address on the back of your ticket to declare that it is yours.
The results and prize amounts take a little time to audit and verify, so at this point we may not be able to confirm your actual win amount. But you will know how many players have shared the jackpot and how big the estimated jackpot is. They will pass your details on to one of our Winners’ Advisors who will call you back.
A visit from Winners’ Advisor
Depending on the time of your call it is most likely the call back will be Sunday morning. The Winners’ Advisor job is to validate your ticket and then…pay you the money! They visit most players at home so they’ll arrange an appointment to come and see you, ask you to get hold of a couple of forms of ID, and ask how many people you’ve told. For larger winners they will recommend taking on a private bank. You will be able to choose from a selection of private banks to attend your validation.
The Winners’ Advisor will arrive for an appointment which takes around 2 hours. They will check ID, fill in forms and liaise with our security team back at lottery HQ. The validation process is where you finally hand over your ticket.
The all-important MONEY bit
Once we are happy that it’s a valid ticket and you’re the rightful ticket holder, the Winners’ Advisor will finally declare, “Congratulations, you are a winner and I can pay you your prize!”. The private bank will open an account for you, there’s some form filling in, and arrangements are made for some cash if you need it.
Sharing your news
The Winners’ Advisor will also discuss with you about sharing your news with family and friends, and whether you wish to share it more broadly. The decision to go public or remain anonymous is entirely up to you. It could depend on how many people know and what your plans are for your win. If you choose to share your news, the publicity team will sort out a giant cheque, chilled champagne and look after you throughout the whole process.
Your bank will call you to let you know your winnings have arrived in your account 24 to 48 hours later, and you can get on with enjoying your win. Larger winners (over £500k) are given access to a panel of independent advisors and legal experts a couple of weeks after the win. They are able to give you advice on all the many questions swirling around your head on gifting, tax, trusts and investments.
Then it’s over to you. We pay it and it’s up to you how you spend it! Your Winners’ Advisor is there if you have any questions related to your win. They’ve helped lots and lots of lottery winners, so you’re in very good hands. And if you have shared your news, the publicity team continue to support you with the press.
You’re a member of the National Lottery Millionaires Club and the world is your oyster.