New National Lottery rules as woman wins £10k - and still can't get the cash

A National Lottery punter plays a scratchcard game (file image)
A National Lottery scratchcard -Credit:Getty Images/Tetra images RF

A woman who won £10,000 on the National Lottery is still waiting for her winnings - after becoming the latest casualty of a new payout rule. Jennifer Gothard won £10,000 on the £3 'triple cashword' scratchcard.

But a rule change - which now bars the Post Office from paying out cash prizes of more than £500 - means Jennifer is still waiting for her cash. It comes after 61-year-old Andrew Leese, from Brown Lees, was left waiting more than a month for his £1,500 Euromillions Hotpicks win after falling foul of the same new rule.

Jennifer told the Blackpool Gazette: "It's extremely frustrating. It's been over a month and I still have my scratchcard and have not had a penny of my £10,000 prize. I got off the phone with them the other day and was basically told I'll just have to wait. They can't even tell me whether I've really won or not. They apparently have a big backlog of claims to get through and they still haven't got around to checking mine. To be honest, I've gone from being over moon and on cloud nine to feeling completely deflated.

"I was so excited and happy about my big win. Finally, it was like I'd been given a break and the chance for a fresh start after a really tough few years. But I'm beginning to lose hope with the lack of communication, the timescales and generally the fact that I don't have my win after five weeks. I'm starting to worry whether they'll pay out at all."

Until February, National Lottery prizes up to £50,000 could be collected instantly from the Post Office. When Allwyn Entertainments took over as the National Lottery operator in February, the Post Office did not renew its contract with the firm. Now prizes over £500 must be claimed directly from the National Lottery.

An Allwyn Entertainments spokesperson said: "We're very sorry to hear of Ms Gothard's concerns and will be in touch with her with an update. This is a new claims process we've had to introduce following the Post Office's decision to no longer pay National Lottery retail prizes between £500.01 and £50,000.

"As a result of it being new, we've been experiencing higher volumes of players contacting us and some initial delays to players receiving their prizes. We've since increased the number of colleagues to assist with claims which is helping us send out prizes more quickly and are continuing to work to make improvements to the process."

"For example, we recently started a trial where anyone winning under £1,000 no longer needs to send in their winning ticket to us to help speed up the process. We'd like to reassure anyone affected that they will receive their prize."

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