How to Manually Enter & Redeem Scratch Off Lottery Tickets

Playing instant scratch off lottery tickets is a fun way to potentially win big cash prizes or secondary bonuses. These scratch off tickets come with a thin latex coating that you scratch away to reveal whether you’ve won a prize. Lottery tickets are designed for easy claiming by using a barcode scanner to automatically validate and redeem winning tickets. But what should you do if your lottery ticket gets damaged and the barcode is no longer scannable?

Don’t worry, you can still manually enter scratch off lottery tickets to verify and claim your prize payout. While not as fast as scanning the barcode, manually submitting the ticket details allows you to redeem prizes when the barcode is unusable.

In this comprehensive guide, you will learn:

  • Common reasons why you may need to manually enter lottery tickets instead of scanning them
  • What key ticket information and codes are required to verify and redeem prizes on non-scannable tickets
  • Step-by-step instructions for manually submitting ticket details via mobile apps, retailer lottery terminals, lottery websites, or by mail
  • Tips for efficiently entering ticket information accurately to ensure prompt prize payout

Let’s get started on how to manually redeem those winning scratch offs!

Why You May Need to Manually Enter Lottery Tickets Instead of Scanning

State lottery scratch off tickets are designed to be easily validated and redeemed by scanning the barcode printed on the back of the ticket using a lottery retailer’s barcode scanner or self-serve ticket checker. The barcode contains encrypted information that allows the lottery terminal to instantly verify if the scratch off is a winner and what prize it has won.

However, there are some situations where the barcode on your lottery scratch off ticket may become damaged or unscannable, requiring you to manually submit the ticket details instead:

  • The barcode got smudged or damaged – If the scratch off latex coating was scraped or scratched too hard it can damage the barcode printed underneath. Even small scratches can prevent the barcode from being read by scanners.
  • The ticket faded over time – If an old winning scratch off ticket has been sitting around for many months or years, it may have faded to the point where the barcode is difficult to read. Scratch off games do expire so don’t forget to check those old tickets!
  • Purchased the ticket in another state or country – If you buy a winning scratch ticket from a different state or country from where you are trying to redeem it, their lottery terminal may not recognize the ticket’s barcode.
  • Retailer’s barcode scanner not working – Sometimes the barcode scanner at a lottery retailer may be malfunctioning and unable to scan the ticket even if the barcode is fine.
  • Entering non-winning tickets into second chance contests – Many scratch off games run second chance contests where you can submit non-winning tickets, which requires manually entering ticket codes and details.

In any of these situations where the barcode is damaged or cannot be scanned, you will need to manually submit the lottery scratch off ticket details in order to redeem your prizes.

What Ticket Information Is Needed to Manually Verify and Redeem Prizes

To properly verify and redeem a winning scratch off lottery ticket through manual entry, you will need to gather a few key pieces of information that are printed on various areas of the ticket. Required details vary slightly by state but generally include:

  • Game Number – The scratch off game number, name, or logo is printed on the front of the ticket. This specifies which scratch off game the ticket is from.
  • Pack Number – This 6-digit number is printed on the back of the ticket and identifies the batch or pack of scratch offs the specific ticket came from.
  • Ticket Number – Unique for each ticket, this number is also on the back and used to identify which individual ticket it is. May be 3 to 6 digits long.
  • Validation Number – The main number used to verify winners, this long number is printed underneath the scratch off coating on the front of the ticket and exposed when scratched. Often 6 to 12 digits long.
  • Security Code – Typically a separate 3 digit code also printed under the scratch off area on the front. Provides an additional verification layer to confirm valid winning tickets.

Having this key information allows lottery officials to look up the details of your specific scratch off ticket in their system and confirm whether it is a legitimate winning ticket and the correct prize amount. The validation number and security code under the latex coating are especially important for verification.

Step-by-Step Guide to Manually Entering Lottery Scratch Offs

If your scratch off lottery ticket has an unscannable barcode, here are the recommended ways to manually enter the ticket details in order to verify and redeem your prizes:

Use Your State Lottery’s Mobile App

Most lottery administrations now offer official mobile apps where you can manually enter ticket details to redeem prizes. Popular lottery apps include Jackpocket and Lucktastic.

To manually redeem a ticket via mobile app:

  1. Download your state or territory’s official lottery app on your iOS or Android device.
  2. Open the app and select the option to manually enter ticket, redemption, or prize claim details.
  3. Carefully enter the game number, pack number, ticket number, validation number, and security code from your ticket. Triple check for accuracy.
  4. Submit the ticket details and you will be notified if it is a verified winner. Follow additional prompts to redeem physical prizes or claim winnings.
  5. If needed, you may be instructed to mail in the original ticket or visit a claim center for verification and payout.

Have Retailer Manually Enter Details into Lottery Terminal

Another option is to take your winning scratch off ticket directly to an authorized state lottery retailer, such as a convenience store, pharmacy, or gas station that sells lottery tickets. Politely ask the clerk if they can manually enter the details of your damaged ticket into their lottery terminal to validate it.

Provide them with the game number, pack number, ticket number, validation number, and security digits printed on the front and back so they can manually submit the details. This should verify whether it is a winning ticket. If so, they can assist you with redeeming the prize.

Submit Ticket Details on Lottery Website

Most official state and territory lottery websites offer a way to manually verify and redeem tickets online. Look for a “Ticket Entry” page or form where you can enter the details of your damaged scratch off.

Carefully fill out the web form providing the game number, pack number, ticket number, validation digits, and security code. Double check you are entering the information accurately before submitting.

After submitting the ticket details through the website, you will receive notification if it is a verified winner. If so, follow provided instructions to redeem winnings either online, at a claim center, or via mail.

Mail Ticket Details to Lottery Headquarters

If you are unable to reach a lottery retailer or use the website, as a last resort you can mail the ticket details to your lottery administration’s claim center.

Write down all of the ticket details, including the game number, pack number, ticket number, validation number, and security digits. Make sure your writing is neat and legible.

Make copies of the ticket and your written details for your personal records. Mail the ticket details along with a note explaining your damaged ticket could not be scanned to the claim center via certified mail with tracking for proof of delivery.

Phone in advance to ensure you are providing the required information. Be aware mailing tickets and waiting for manual processing can take weeks to receive your prize.

Tips for Smooth Manual Scratch Off Ticket Redemption

Follow these tips when entering lottery scratch off tickets manually to ensure the process goes smoothly and your prizes are validated and redeemed promptly:

  • Clearly write or type ticket details so all numbers and letters are legible. Illegible handwriting can lead to delays verifying tickets.
  • Carefully check that you have the validation number and security code entered correctly. One wrong digit will invalidate the ticket.
  • Make photocopies of your ticket and claim forms before mailing anything to the lottery office for your personal records.
  • Understand manual verification takes more time than scanning tickets. Allow several weeks for mailed ticket processing.
  • Call the lottery office ahead if mailing tickets to confirm required information and delivery instructions specific to your game.
  • Take advantage of lottery mobile apps and websites to enter ticket details if possible. Avoid mailing tickets when able.
  • If allowed in your state, consider redeeming in person at a claim center after initial manual verification for speedier payout.
  • Track your prize claim status online via the lottery website or mobile app to follow its progress after submitting manually.
  • Double check you have proper identification and forms to claim winnings when required after manual verification.

While the manual scratch off ticket entry process takes longer than simply scanning the barcode, it allows you to redeem winning tickets with damaged or unreadable barcodes. Be diligent entering the details accurately for smooth sailing!

Can Non-Winning Tickets Be Entered for Second Chance Promotions?

Many lottery scratch off games offer second chance contests allowing you to enter non-winning tickets online to potentially win other prizes.

These contests allow you to submit losing scratch offs for a chance to win second-tier prizes like vacations, cars, gift cards, or entries into grand prize drawings. They essentially give non-winners another opportunity to win a prize.

To enter a second chance scratch off promotion, you will need to manually enter details from your losing tickets into the contest website rather than scanning them. Here are some tips for manually submitting tickets to second chance contests:

  • Carefully read the contest rules to determine what ticket details need to be entered, such as game number, ticket number, validation number, etc.
  • Double and triple check you are accurately entering the ticket details. Transposed numbers will make your entry invalid.
  • Make photocopies of your tickets before mailing any originals to the lottery. Keep Records of the tickets you submit.
  • Note the promotion’s entry periods and deadlines. Form an entry routine to submit tickets regularly during the contest period.
  • Take advantage of lottery apps and websites that allow you to easily store and track ticket details for second chance entry.
  • Don’t throw away non-winners! Set a reminder to check your tickets for second chance eligibility before discarding.

Entering losing scratch offs into second chance contests gives you more chances to win prizes. Just be diligent when manually submitting ticket details for valid entry.


Damaged lottery scratch off tickets with unreadable barcodes can still be redeemed by manually submitting ticket details to verify prizes. While not as fast as scanning, carefully entering the required information found on the front and back of the ticket allows you to claim winnings from non-scannable tickets.

Make use of official lottery mobile apps, retailer lottery terminals, website ticket entry forms, or mail to efficiently enter ticket details. Be extra diligent to accurately provide the game number, pack number, ticket number, validation number, and security code. Double check illegible handwriting before submitting forms by mail.

With the proper ticket information entered carefully, manually submitting scratch offs is a smooth process. Just redeem tickets promptly before games expire and enjoy claiming those prizes!

Similar Posts