The process of claiming money prizes from the lottery can differ depending on whether you played international lotteries online or local games. Both are not difficult to understand and are completely accessible to us, but it is essential to know the steps and avoid delaying or even losing your prize. Fortunately for you, this guide explains how to claim lottery winnings – including without leaving the comfort of your house!
How Does the Lottery Work in the Philippines?
The Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) has been providing lottery games since 1995 and is regularly bringing new lotteries to our population. It is great to participate in local games, but they are limited in two different ways: there are just a few of them, and they can only be played at local outlets.
At authorized retailers, players fill out tickets and hope for the best when the lottery results come out. As an alternative, it is possible to enjoy online lottery games in the Philippines that are otherwise only offered in other countries. The essence is kept: we decide what game we want to play, fill in the numbers, and purchase – but in the comfort of our houses.
If we win, it is important to know how to claim a lotto prize both to avoid it expiring and to make sure we do not lose our ticket or do anything wrong. Still, there is nothing to be worried about, as it is simple to understand.
How to Claim Lotto Winnings?
The first thing that you need to understand when it comes to how to claim your lotto prize is that Philippines lotteries can only be claimed in person. If you have played a local lottery, you need to understand the possibilities for each prize:
- If you have won up to ₱10,000, you may claim your lotto winnings at an authorized outlet or one of the branch offices of PCSO.
- Prizes from ₱10,001 and up to ₱300,000 can be claimed at a branch office or at the main office.
- If you were lucky to get a prize from ₱300,000 – including big jackpots – you will necessarily need to validate and claim your prize at the main office.
Let’s consider you will claim your lotto prize at the PCSO Main Office. The whole step-by-step is as follows:
- Write your name and signature on the back of all the winning tickets you have.
- Go to the PCSO Main Office with your valid ID and a copy.
- Fill out the forms that you are required to and get your ticket validated.
- After the validation of the ticket, you will receive the check.
Therefore, the process is pretty much similar for almost all levels of prizes. You have one year to claim, so make sure to get prepared and store the ticket safely.
What to Do When You Win the Lottery?
Acknowledge the Real Prize
According to the Philippine gambling laws, and like in many other countries, your lottery winnings are taxable. For anything above ₱10,000, you owe 20% to the government, and that is how you know how much you are expected to claim in lottery winnings.
Double-Check Your Ticket
There is a lot of emotion involved when playing the lottery. Therefore, some people might mistakenly believe they have won the lottery or fail to identify when they win. In order to avoid any possible mistake, it makes sense to verify your possible prize after the heat of the moment – perhaps a few days after the drawing.
Keep Calm and Anonymous
Even when the lottery prize is not large enough to change someone’s life, people tend to believe that a winner is an instant millionaire. Family, friends, and people who you never met in life might start to disturb your peace if you reveal that you are now a lottery winner. Now that you know how to claim lotto winnings, take your time. That will give you a moment to plan what to do with your money.
Secure Your Ticket
After realizing you have the right to claim a lottery prize, remember that you will need the ticket to claim it. Without the ticket, you have no right over the prize, not even the smallest one. It is extremely important to sign your name for no one else to claim it and keep the ticket safe.
Claim When You Are Ready
Claim your lottery prize when you are ready to use it in a smart and reasonable manner. It will also lower the expectations of those who are eager to see who won the last jackpot. There are only advantages to holding back a little bit when you win the lottery.
Where to Claim Lottery Winnings?
- ₱20 – 10,000: Outlet / PCSO branch offices
- ₱10,001 – 300,000: PCSO branch offices / Main Office
- ₱300,001+: Main Office
2nd Floor of the Sun Plaza Building
1507 Princeton Street corner w/ Shaw Boulevard
Mandaluyong City 1552
How to Claim Lotto Winnings Online?
If you decide to play the lottery online, that means you have chosen one of the reviewed websites, as the Philippines holds no online lottery game. In that case, there are two possibilities:
- Lottery Agents – If you played on a lottery agent website like theLotter, your winnings are automatically sent to you up to approximately $2,500 (~₱136,800). Anything above that will require you to travel and claim it in person with the help of the website staff.
- Lottery Betting – The main advantage of betting on lottery results is to win the exact same prize without the need to claim it. Any amounts are sent to the winner without having to appear in person, but the waiting time may take up to several weeks. Some good examples are Lotto247 and LottoAgent (also a lottery agent).
Lottery Winnings Claiming Rules
- Regardless of the lottery you play, you must obey the law and play only if you are above 21 years old.
- You have up to a year to claim winnings from local games.
- Lotteries in the Philippines can only be played in person at outlets.
- With the exception of large prizes at lottery agents, online prizes do not need to be claimed.
- If you forget to claim past the maximum deadline, you cannot claim.
- It is only possible to claim lotto winnings with your ticket.
How Long Can You Wait to Claim Lotto Winnings?
The table below can be a reference for your curiosity or in case you win a reasonable prize while playing on a lottery agent website. Otherwise, you do not need to worry, as the prizes from international lotteries are paid automatically.
|90 – 365 days
|90 – 365 days
|30 – 90 days
|180 – 365 days
What Happens if You Don’t Claim Winnings?
You already learned that you do not have to worry about how to claim lotto winnings online because the lottery websites take care of it. In any other situation, if you fail to claim your lottery winnings within the given deadline, you will never see that prize. It does not matter if you have a really good excuse, as lotteries are very strict about dates.
There are no secrets or difficulties when it comes to claiming your lotto prizes. Of course, there are differences if you play the local lotteries of the Philippines or enjoy one of the international lotteries, but now you already know how to claim lotto winnings online or locally.
Make sure to pay attention to the deadline and not miss the opportunity of claiming your prize. Other than that, keep trying if you still have not won, as you never know when luck might strike.
You might be paid in a check that can be sent to your bank account. When playing online, all your winnings are sent to your account.