How to Manually Enter Scratch-Off Tickets

Have you ever accidentally scratched too hard and damaged the barcode on your lottery ticket? Or perhaps you have a pile of non-winning scratch tickets and want a second chance to win a prize? Entering scratch-off lottery tickets manually is a simple process that gives your tickets a bonus opportunity for prizes.

Why You Might Need to Manually Enter Scratch Ticket Details

There are a few common reasons you may need to manually submit the details from your scratch-off lottery tickets rather than scanning the barcode:

  • Damaged Barcode – Scratching too vigorously can destroy the barcode printed on scratch tickets. This prevents store clerks and lottery terminals from automatically scanning your ticket to determine if it is a winner.
  • Entering Second Chance Drawings – Most state lotteries let you enter non-winning scratch-off tickets into second chance promotions for another opportunity to win cash and prizes. These require ticket details to be submitted manually.
  • Claiming Prizes – If your ticket is damaged, you will likely need to manually enter the ticket details to begin the prize claims process rather than scanning it. Lotteries may require you to claim in-person.

So if you find yourself with a damaged, non-winning ticket, all is not lost! The manual entry process gives damaged and non-winning scratchers a second lease on life.

Check Your State Lottery Website for Instructions

Every US state lottery has their own procedures for manually submitting ticket details. The first step is to check your lottery’s official website or mobile app. There should be information explaining:

  • How to enter scratch tickets manually
  • What details they require
  • Links and forms to submit ticket details
  • Prizes being offered and entry deadlines

For example, the Arizona Lottery website has a page guiding you to manually enter tickets into current promotions within their mobile app. The Idaho Lottery site provides links to entry forms for their popular Cashword second chance contest.

Making sure to follow your state lottery’s official instructions is key – so check for this info online or in their mobile apps.

What Ticket Details You’ll Need to Enter

To manually submit a ticket, lotteries typically require four key details:

  • Ticket Number – The unique number printed on every scratch-off ticket
  • Pack Number – Identifies when that ticket pack was printed
  • Validation Number – The security code that verifies the ticket is legit
  • Date/Time of Purchase – When and where you bought the ticket

The ticket number is the long number printed on the front. The pack number and validation code may be on the front or back. Scratching off the latex covering thoroughly reveals all these.

When entering damaged tickets to specifically claim a prize, additional details required could include:

  • The retail location where you purchased the ticket
  • Photos or scans of the damaged ticket
  • Your personal information like name, address etc.

So before you scratch too vigorously – take note of where all these ticket details can be found!

Entering Tickets on State Lottery Mobile Apps

The easiest way to manually submit your ticket details is directly through official state lottery apps, where available.

For example, the Arizona Lottery app lets you enter all eligible tickets into current promotions. The Maryland Lottery app has a “Second Chance” section to enter drawings.

Here are some of the common ticket entry features found across various state lottery apps:

  • Scan barcode to enter drawings – and manual entry options
  • Ticket checker to see if you’ve won
  • Games and Fast Play tickets
  • Track draw results and winning numbers

Check if your state already provides mobile lottery services. If so, download the official app and look for the manual ticket entry sections. This allows instant electronic ticket submissions rather than mailing physical tickets and entry forms.

Submitting Damaged Tickets to Claim Your Prize

What if you uncover a $1,000 winner but scratch the barcode right off in your excitement? When trying to redeem damaged scratch-off tickets:

  • Contact your state lottery office – explain the situation and that you need to initiate a manual prize claim.
  • In-person claims – if your prize exceeds a certain value (e.g. $600+) you’ll likely need to claim in person
  • Provide ticket details – have all the ticket numbers, validation codes and other details handy
  • Proof of purchase – submit a photo/scan of the damaged ticket or even your retailer purchase receipt

Depending on the situation and prize amount, the lottery may ask you to mail in the damaged ticket or finish the claims process at their regional office.

Just don’t attempt to tape up and re-scan a damaged ticket – make that initial call so lottery officials can walk you through the manual verification and prize collection.

Avoid Common Scratch Ticket Errors

Avoid needing to manually enter tickets in the first place by following these scratch-off tips:

  • Lightly scratch – reveal ticket details and barcode gently to prevent abrasion
  • Use a coin – carefully scratch off latex with the edge of a coin instead of fingers
  • Don’t bend or fold tickets – this can damage the barcode and ticket itself
  • Store tickets safely – keep old tickets flat and in good condition for second chance entry

Scratching incorrectly is one of the easiest ways to damage your precious barcode. Ensure you scratch lightly and straight across the covering.

Tips for Entering Tickets Manually

When submitting ticket details manually either online or through a lottery app, double check that:

  • All numbers and codes match the details on your physical ticket
  • Your name and contact information entered are correct
  • Entry is submitted before the deadline of second chance contest
  • Keep hold of your original ticket as proof until the draw occurs
  • Non-winning tickets meet eligibility criteria

It’s critical to accurately enter each ticket number, validation code and other details. Make sure your entry is confirmed via email or have the clerk printout a receipt after manual submission. Don’t throw away the original ticket either until the second chance drawing occurs, in case of disputes.

How to Track Your Manually Entered Tickets

Once you manually submit ticket details via post, through an app or lottery website form:

  • Player accounts – log into your state lottery online account to view entries
  • Email updates – receive confirmations when your entry is submitted successfully
  • Check entry status – follow up before the entry deadline closes
  • Draw results – lottery will directly contact winners but results are also posted online

There is usually no need to follow up your ticket entry in person or via phone. Check your existing lottery account first. Sign up for one if need be – this makes tracking ticket entries easier.

Final Thoughts

Using the above guidelines, you can manually enter details for damaged, non-winning scratch tickets into second chance contests in just minutes.

Most state lotteries now offer quick and simple online or mobile app entry routes. Avoid common scratching errors so your ticket barcodes easily scan as winners in the first place! But if manual entry does become necessary, you now know the process.

So don’t throw out those scratchers just yet. Carefully enter their details for a second shot at some major lottery prizes!

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