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Is there an app to scan lottery tickets in Michigan?

There are a few different apps that can be used to scan and check lottery tickets in Michigan. The main options are the official Michigan Lottery app, lottery apps created by third parties, and general purpose scanner apps. In this article, we’ll take a look at the key apps lottery players can use to conveniently scan and check their tickets on a mobile device in Michigan.

Official Michigan Lottery App

The Michigan Lottery offers an official app for iPhone and Android devices that can scan and check lottery tickets purchased in Michigan. The app allows you to scan the barcode on draw game tickets like Powerball and Mega Millions as well as instant scratch-off tickets. Once scanned, it will immediately display whether the ticket is a winner or not.

Some of the key features of the official Michigan Lottery app include:

  • Scan and check draw game tickets for prizes
  • Scan and check instant scratch-off tickets
  • View draw game winning numbers
  • Find nearby lottery retailers
  • Get updates about new games and promotions

The official app is the simplest way to scan and check Michigan lottery tickets on your phone. One limitation is that it can only scan tickets purchased in Michigan. It does not have the ability to scan lottery tickets from other states.

Third Party Lottery Apps

In addition to the official app, there are some third party apps that offer lottery ticket scanning and checking capabilities. Some examples include:

  • Lottery Ticket Scanner – This app can scan and check lottery tickets from Michigan and several other states. It has the ability to scan a wider variety of lottery games than the official Michigan app.
  • Lotto Photo Scanner – This app allows you to scan lottery tickets using your phone’s camera. It has editing tools to optimize images before scanning.
  • WinCheck – Designed specifically for checking instant scratch-off tickets, this app works for tickets purchased in Michigan and other participating states.

Third party lottery apps can sometimes scan a broader range of tickets than the official state apps. However, they may not be as up to date in terms of the latest games and promotions offered in each state lottery. Some apps may have regional limitations as well.

General Scanner Apps

Another option is to use general purpose scanner apps that optical character recognition (OCR) technology to scan text, barcodes, and images. Apps like Adobe Scan, CamScanner, Microsoft Office Lens, and Google Drive can all be used to scan and upload lottery tickets. However, unlike dedicated lottery apps, general scanners will not automatically check the ticket and tell you if it is a winner.

To check a ticket with a general scanner app, you would need to:

  1. Scan the lottery ticket barcode and image
  2. Manually enter the ticket details from the scanned image into the lottery’s website or app to check it

The advantage of general scanner apps is flexibility – they can scan any type of printed material. The downside is having to manually look up scanned lottery tickets.

Scanning Tips

Here are some tips for getting the best results when scanning lottery tickets with apps:

  • Hold the ticket steady and position it so the entire barcode and ticket is visible in the camera frame
  • Ensure proper lighting – scanning in a dim area can negatively affect the ability to clearly capture the barcode
  • For scratch tickets, scratch off the coating thoroughly so the barcode is fully revealed
  • Avoid scanning tickets on colored backgrounds or surfaces that may interfere with the barcode image
  • Try scanning at multiple angles if you have difficulty capturing the barcode in one shot

Checking Older Winning Tickets

For older lottery tickets that you want to check to see if they were winners, scanning may not be an option if the game is no longer active in the app’s prize checking database. However, there are still a couple options for checking older tickets:

  • Look up the draw date and game details on the lottery’s website – most lotteries let you search past winning numbers and game details
  • Visit a retailer – lottery retailers can often check older tickets manually in their systems
  • Call or visit the lottery’s regional office – they can also look up details on expired games and tickets

Subscription Scanning Services

There are also some subscription-based services like Lottery Ticket Scanner that offer to scan and check your tickets for you using their apps and will notify you of any winners. This saves you the hassle of manually scanning yourself. However, these services come with monthly fees which may not make them cost effective depending on how often you play the lottery.

Can You Scan Tickets from Other States?

In general, the official state lottery apps will only scan tickets purchased in their state. So the Michigan Lottery app will not scan a Powerball ticket bought in Indiana for example. However, some third party apps claim the ability to scan lottery tickets from multiple states. You’ll have to check the features listed for each third party app to see which states are supported.

The limitation on scanning tickets from other states comes down to how the official lottery databases are setup. The Michigan Lottery app only has access to verify tickets within its own system, not other states’ lottery databases. So there are some technical limitations even though most draw games are interstate.

Do Scanned Tickets Remain Valid?

Yes, scanning a lottery ticket does not impact its validity. The original physical ticket is still considered the official item that needs to be presented to claim any prizes. The apps and scanning simply offer an easy way to check and see if your ticket may be a winner.

Scanning the ticket does not change or invalidate the ticket in any way. The barcode and ticket information remains the same whether it is scanned or not. So you still need to physically hold on to and present the original ticket in order to redeem any potential prizes.

Can You Edit or Alter Scanned Tickets?

While the scanning apps do not modify or edit lottery tickets, there are concerns around the potential for users to edit scanned images before checking them. Some lottery apps try to prevent image manipulation of scanned tickets by:

  • Automatically scanning and checking in one step
  • Disabling image editing in the app
  • Performing image analysis to detect edits

However, with general scanner apps that save images to your camera roll there is potential for image editing before manually checking tickets. Lotteries advise players to only use trusted apps from official sources to reduce risks around manually edited images.

Can You Scan Tickets with Damaged Barcodes?

Unfortunately most ticket scanner apps require a clearly visible barcode to function properly. Some things that can impact the ability to scan tickets:

  • Damaged, crumpled, or folded tickets with partially obscured barcodes
  • Faded or unreadable barcodes from exposure to moisture or heat
  • Scratched off or damaged barcode numbers

If the barcode is damaged but the ticket number is still legible, there are a couple options:

  • Manually enter the ticket details into the lottery website or app
  • Visit a retailer where they may be able to scan using the ticket numbering
  • Contact the lottery where they can look up ticket details

But in most cases, a damaged or unreadable barcode will prevent simply scanning the ticket with apps.

What Scanner Apps Does the Michigan Lottery Recommend?

On its website and mobile app, the Michigan Lottery primarily recommends using its own official app for conveniently scanning and checking tickets. The official app provides the ability to:

  • Scan tickets purchased in Michigan
  • Quickly validate draw games and instant tickets
  • View draw results
  • Find retailers and play responsibly

For scanning tickets from other states or more advanced image scanning, the Michigan Lottery does not make any specific recommendations. There are various third party apps that offer broader scanning ability. However, players use third party apps at their own discretion as they are not officially endorsed.

Can Retailers Scan Tickets?

Yes, lottery retailers have the ability to scan tickets both at time of purchase and after to validate wins. When you purchase a ticket at a store, the retailer scanner activates the ticket and enters it into the system. Retailers can also subsequently scan tickets to check them for winners.

Some benefits of having retailers scan tickets:

  • Immediate validation – no waiting for results
  • Ability to confirm and redeem prizes in store
  • Personal assistance if any issues come up

Retailers have more direct access to the lottery system than apps and can manually enter damaged tickets, overriding technical scanning issues in some cases.

What Devices are Compatible With Scanning Apps?

Most lottery scanner apps are available for both iOS and Android mobile devices. This includes the official Michigan Lottery app along with most third party options. To use the apps you generally need:

  • A smartphone or tablet running iOS or Android
  • A device with a rear-facing auto-focus camera
  • Access to download apps from the App Store or Google Play

Make sure your device meets the minimum OS version and other requirements listed for each app. Very old or low-end smartphones may not work properly beyond basic scanning. Additionally, most apps require mobile data or wifi to validate scanned tickets against current game data.

Minimum Requirements

Here are some typical minimum requirements for lottery scanner apps:

OS Camera Network
iOS 11+ 8MP rear camera WiFi or mobile data
Android 7.0+ Autofocus Internet connection

Note that specific apps may have additional or slightly different technical requirements. But in general, most modern smartphones have the hardware and connectivity required to support lottery ticket scanning.

Are Scanned Tickets Stored in the Apps?

Most lottery apps automatically delete scanned ticket images after checking them and do not permanently store copies of your tickets or scans. However, some apps may allow saving scanned images to your device photo album if the option is enabled.

Reasons lottery apps don’t normally store ticket scans:

  • Privacy – avoid retaining personal ticket details
  • Security – reduce potential for digital ticket redemption fraud
  • Data limits – reduce app storage requirements

If you want to retain a digital copy of your scanned ticket, you’ll need to save the image manually after scanning. Just be aware of the risks of having ticket images stored digitally and the importance of keeping the physical ticket secure.

Is it Legal to Scan Tickets in Michigan?

Yes, there are no laws in Michigan prohibiting the scanning and checking of lottery tickets through official apps or other digital scanning tools. Scanning tickets falls under fair personal use and does not violate any lottery rules as long as the physical ticket is retained and presented to claim prizes.

Things that would be prohibited include:

  • Scanning and reproducing tickets for distribution or resale
  • Scanning tickets then discarding the physical ticket
  • Editing or manipulating digital images to fraudulently claim prizes

As long as you follow the rules and procedures set by the Michigan Lottery while simply scanning for your own personal use, there are no legal issues.

Are There Any Fees for Scanning Tickets?

The official Michigan Lottery app and most third party scanner apps do not charge any fees for downloading, installing, or scanning tickets. You can generally scan as many tickets as you like for free through mobile apps.

Some apps may have premium or subscription options that offer additional features or convenience for a monthly or annual fee. But basic scanning is usually offered free as a way to encourage lottery players to use the apps.

Do All Michigan Lottery Games Support Scanning?

The Michigan Lottery indicates that the following draw and instant games can be scanned using the official mobile app or at retailers:

  • Powerball
  • Mega Millions
  • Lotto 47
  • Fantasy 5
  • Keno
  • Poker Lotto
  • Lucky For Life
  • Instant scratch-off tickets

Other less common Michigan Lottery games may not fully support scanning. And games no longer offered may not show up in the current apps. To check expired games and tickets, you may need to visit a retailer or contact the Michigan Lottery’s support services.

Can Winning Amounts be Increased or Decreased When Scanning?

No, scanning a lottery ticket simply validates the details printed on the physical ticket. The apps do not actually alter or influence the prize amounts.

Think of the apps as just reading the barcode details on the ticket and looking up the associated prize value in the current database. The process does not change or manipulate the winnings associated with a ticket.

In rare cases, there might be a discrepancy between the ticket details and the lottery database that requires further investigation. But in general, the amount displayed while scanning will always match the physical ticket.

Do Scanned Tickets Show Ownership?

Simply scanning a ticket does not provide proof of ownership on its own. Having possession of the physical ticket and the ability to validate its details is considered the legal proof of ownership for claiming prizes.

If there was ever a dispute over who had ownership of a winning ticket, the person holding the original physical ticket is presumed to be the rightful owner. The lottery would like conduct an investigation in disputed cases.

Since scanned images can easily be copied and shared digitally, they do not firmly establish ownership. Only custody of the physical ticket definitively demonstrates ownership and the right to claim winnings.

Can Damaged Tickets be Scanned?

Tickets with minor wear and tear can usually still be scanned accurately as long as the full barcode is visible and intact. But significant damage can prevent proper scanning:

  • Torn or missing sections that impact the barcode
  • Fading, scratches, or stains that obscure the barcode
  • Crinkled or folded sections over the barcode
  • Moisture or liquid damage

In cases of damaged tickets, you may need to either:

  • Manually enter the ticket details into the lottery website or app
  • Visit a retailer for assistance scanning damaged tickets
  • Contact the lottery to investigate options

Significant damage that prevents barcode scanning may require extra steps to check ticket validity.


There are reliable options for Michigan lottery players to conveniently scan and check their tickets using mobile apps. The official Michigan Lottery app provides an easy way to scan state draw and instant games. Third party apps offer broader geographic support. And general purpose scanner apps can also assist when manual image checking is required.

Apps allow Michigan players to quickly validate their tickets without having to visit retailers in person for scanning. However, players do need to ensure they are using reputable apps from trusted sources to avoid technical issues or potential fraud.

With the proper precautions, lottery scanning apps provide a useful tool for managing and checking lottery tickets efficiently from anywhere using a mobile device.