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How to check Virginia Lottery scratch off tickets?

Checking your scratch off lottery tickets in Virginia is easy if you follow a few simple steps. Scratch offs, also known as instant games, are very popular in Virginia, with the Virginia Lottery offering dozens of different scratcher games at any given time. Knowing how to properly check your tickets is important so that you don’t accidentally throw away a winner or miss out on a prize. Here are some tips for safely and effectively checking your Virginia Lottery scratch off tickets.

Check the Ticket Thoroughly

The first step is to thoroughly scratch off the entire play area on your ticket. Use a coin or the edge of a key to carefully remove the latex coating over the symbols and numbers. Scratch any silver or gold areas completely to reveal what’s printed underneath. Make sure you haven’t missed any spots and that every playable area has been uncovered. Don’t scratch too hard or you may tear the ticket underneath and make it invalid.

Check the ticket under good lighting so you can clearly see all of the symbols and numbers that were revealed when you scratched it off. Tilting the ticket at an angle under the light can help symbols pop out more clearly. Scan the entire ticket to look for matching symbols or numbers and don’t just focus on one area.

Understand How to Play the Game

Each Virginia Lottery scratcher game has different rules and ways to win prizes. Make sure you understand how the particular game works before checking your ticket. Read the “How to Play” section on the back of the scratch off ticket to learn what symbols, numbers or patterns you need to match or reveal in order to win.

Some games will have you matching the same symbol multiple times, revealing prize amounts or matching numbers or symbols to a winning combination printed on the scratch off. Other games have more complicated play styles like crosswords, bingo, hangman or reveal-all games. Knowing the objectives and how to win will let you properly check the ticket for prizes.

Check the Ticket’s Serial Number

An important step when checking a scratch off is to verify the ticket’s serial number. This number is printed in two places – on the front at the bottom of the ticket and also on the back. The number should be the same in both locations. If the serial numbers don’t match, the ticket is likely invalid or an altered forgery.

You can also use the serial number to check the validity of the ticket online or through the Virginia Lottery’s mobile app. This will confirm if the scratch off is a legitimate ticket and if it has already been claimed by someone else.

Scan the Ticket Barcode

All Virginia scratchers have a barcode printed on the back. You can scan this barcode into a ticket checker at Virginia Lottery retailers to verify if you have a winning ticket. The barcode scan will immediately inform the clerk if the ticket is a winner and for how much. This quick method confirms if you have a prize winner and saves you time from thoroughly checking a big batch of tickets yourself.

You can also use the official Virginia Lottery app on your smartphone to scan the barcode to determine if you have a winner. Have the app handy when you are on the go so you can quickly check tickets after purchase.

Take Winning Tickets to a Retailer

If you do have a winning Virginia Lottery scratch off, congratulations! To claim your prize, take the winning ticket to any Virginia Lottery retailer or Lottery office. Retailers can validate winning tickets up to $600. Prizes over $600 will need to be claimed at a Lottery customer service center.

The retailer will scan the ticket barcode, verify its authenticity and have you fill out a claim form. You will need valid ID and personal information like your name, address and social security number. For larger prizes, the Lottery may also require you to complete a verification form and W-9 for tax purposes. Your prize money will then be paid out to you, either in cash at the retailer for smaller amounts or via check from the Lottery.

Sign the Back of the Ticket

Once you’ve determined you have a winning Virginia Lottery scratch off, sign the back of the ticket right away. This establishes ownership and prevents anyone else from cashing in your prize. Make sure to keep winning tickets safe and secure until you can claim your prize money.

Know the Claim Period

Winning scratch off tickets can be redeemed for up to 180 days from the announced end date of that particular instant game. Make sure to check the game end date printed on the ticket so you know your claim deadline. This ensures you don’t miss out on prizes you may have won.

Check Bonus and Second Chance Prizes

Some Virginia Lottery scratchers may offer additional ways to win through bonus spots or second chance promotions. Check your ticket thoroughly for any instructions on entering for second chance drawings. You may be able to submit losing tickets online for another opportunity to win cash or prizes. Bonus spots will be indicated on the scratch off – make sure to uncover these areas as they could reveal instant prizes.

Know Unclaimed Prize Rules

For scratch off games that have ended, the Virginia Lottery will list any unclaimed top prizes remaining for that game. Make sure to check for any unclaimed prizes on games you have tickets for so you know if there are big prizes still up for grabs. This info can be found at


Checking Virginia Lottery scratch off tickets is easy when you follow the right steps. Thoroughly scratch off the ticket, understand how to play the particular game, verify the serial number and scan the barcode. Sign winning tickets immediately and claim your prize within 180 days. Check for any bonus spots or second chance opportunities. Knowing the rules and proper procedures will allow you to safely check for winning scratch off tickets in Virginia and ensure you receive your rightful prize money!

Step Instructions
1 Thoroughly scratch off the entire play area on the ticket using a coin or key edge.
2 Check the ticket under good lighting and scan for winning symbols/numbers.
3 Read the back of the ticket to understand how to play and win the game.
4 Verify the ticket serial number is the same on the front and back.
5 Scan the ticket barcode at a retailer or via the app to check for a winner.
6 Bring winning tickets to a lottery retailer or office to claim your prize.
7 Sign the back of winning tickets immediately for ownership.
8 Know the 180 day claim deadline to redeem prizes.
9 Check for any bonus spots or second chance drawings.
10 See if any unclaimed top prizes remain on ended games you have tickets for.

Following these 10 steps will ensure you properly validate and cash in on any winning Virginia Lottery scratch off tickets you may have purchased. Scratch offs provide tons of entertainment and excitement with the chance to win big cash prizes instantly. Thoroughly checking your tickets using the right methods will help you unlock that winning experience and take home the cash you deserve!

The Virginia Lottery offers a wide variety of instant scratch off games for players to enjoy. Top prizes can range from $20,000 up to $1 million depending on the game. Some of the most popular Virginia scratchers include:

Money Bags Doubler

– With a top prize of $50,000, this $2 scratcher has a holiday shopping theme. Matching symbols can double or triple your prizes.

100X The Money

– This $10 game has a top prize of $1 million, with over $19 million in total cash prizes available.

20X The Money

– One of the Virginia Lottery’s $20 scratch offs, you can win up to $1 million on this exciting game.

$250,000 Fortune

– Scratch the 50 spots on this $5 ticket for your chance to win a top prize of $250,000.

Millionaire Club

– The name says it all – become a millionaire by playing this $20 scratcher with a $1 million top prize.

Cash to Go

– This $1 scratch off pays out over $3.4 million in total prizes, with a top prize of $5,000.

New instant games are launched every few weeks by the Virginia Lottery, so there are always fresh and exciting new scratch offs to try your luck on. Make sure to check the Lottery’s website at to see available scratch off games and find tickets near you.

Here are some helpful tips when playing instant win scratch offs in Virginia:

Set a budget

– Only play with money you can afford to lose. Decide ahead of time how much you will spend on tickets for that day.

Try new games

– Brand new scratch offs tend to have the best odds for big prizes. Try your luck on new releases.

Buy tickets from busy sellers

– Retailers that sell a high volume of scratch offs tend to pay out more prizes.

Scan losing tickets

– Enter your non-winners online for second chance promotions.

Check remaining prizes

– See which games still have unclaimed top prizes available.

Play responsibly

– Remember, scratch offs are just for entertainment. Don’t go overboard chasing losses.

Using the right strategies and methods to check your tickets will help ensure you cash in on every possible Virginia Lottery scratch off winner. With jackpots ranging from just a few dollars up to the millions, these instant games provide tons of fun and excitement. Thoroughly check your tickets and start scratching today for your chance to win big!

Frequently Asked Questions

What should I do if my scratch off ticket isn’t a winner?

If your Virginia Lottery scratch off ticket does not have any winning combinations, double check for any bonus spots you may have missed. Also look for any entry codes for second chance drawings. If it is truly not a winner, the ticket can simply be discarded once you have finished checking it thoroughly.

How long do I have to claim a winning Virginia scratch off ticket?

For Virginia Lottery scratchers, you have 180 days from the official end date of that scratch off game to claim any winning tickets. This date is printed on the front of the ticket. Winning tickets expire after 180 days and prizes can no longer be claimed after that period.

What’s the easiest way to check my scratch off tickets?

The quickest and easiest method is to scan the barcode on the back of the ticket using the ticket checker at retail lottery locations. You can also scan the barcode using the Virginia Lottery’s official app. This will immediately inform you if you have a winner and for how much.

Can I claim Virginia scratch off prizes at any lottery retailer?

Prizes up to $600 can be cashed at any Virginia Lottery retail location. Winning tickets for amounts over $600 will need to be claimed at an official Lottery customer service center. Locations can be found on the Lottery’s website.

How do I tell if I have a winning ticket?

Thoroughly scratch off the play area on the ticket and check the symbols, numbers or patterns against the winning combinations printed on the scratcher. Matching combinations that are aligned with prize amounts mean you have a winner. Scanning the barcode will also immediately verify if you have a winning Virginia Lottery scratch off.


Checking scratch off tickets is fast and easy when you follow the proper steps. Always thoroughly scratch off the play area, read the instructions carefully, scan the barcode, sign the back and keep track of the prize claim expiration. Knowing exactly how to play and win each Virginia Lottery instant game ensures you won’t miss out on any potential jackpot prizes. With games starting from just $1 and going up to $20 and $30, scratchers offer fun and convenience for players of all types and budgets. Follow our guide when checking Virginia scratch offs and you’ll maximize your chances of scratching your way to rewards today!