Winning a prize - even if it's just a few bucks - is always exciting. But is it legal to post a picture of your winning lottery tickets online?

If You Can't Trust Your Friends, Who Can You Trust?

Winning a lottery jackpot from the Michigan Lottery is something that should be celebrated. But a growing problem in recent years has involved winners who've posted pictures of their winning lottery tickets on social media outlets like Facebook. These winners then take their winning tickets to the lottery bureau or a lottery retailer only to find that their prizes have already been collected.

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According to the Detroit Free Press, 13 lottery players have had their cash prizes stolen out from under them between January of 2022 and May of this year.

In each of these cases, a lottery retailer cashed the winning ticket after they were shown a picture of the ticket and its barcode on a smartphone.

Technically, it's against the rules for lottery retailers to award prizes when they don't have the physical ticket present - but most lottery retailers have admitted that they're not even aware of this policy.

So while it's technically not illegal to post pictures of lottery tickets, it is a really bad idea.

Getting the Word Out

Jake Harris is the Michigan Lottery's Player Relations Manager. He says the lottery is working to get the word out to retailers that winners must present the actual physical ticket in order to collect their prizes. He says players should also do their part.

"We always encourage players, don't post pictures of your winning tickets on social media," Harris said.


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