What Time Can You Buy & Cash Scratch Cards Until?

Scratch cards, often referred to as scratch-offs or instant win games, have gained immense popularity as a source of entertainment and the potential for big wins. However, many enthusiasts often wonder about the cut-off times for purchasing and possibly cashing scratch cards. In this Best Casino HQ blog, we delve into the specifics of when stores cease selling and redeeming scratch cards, considering various factors influencing these timings.

What Time Do Shops Stop Selling Scratch Cards?

The cessation of scratch card sales in shops primarily hinges on the closing hours of the stores and the policies set by the retail chain. Typically, stores shut down their National Lottery terminals and close their scratch card counters as they approach closing time. This action effectively halts the sale and redemption of both lottery tickets and National Lottery scratch card games. 

Nevertheless, some stores may continue to sell National Lottery scratch cards without utilising the terminal. Hence, the precise time for discontinuing scratch card sales may vary significantly depending on store policies and retail chain guidelines.

Can You Purchase Scratch Cards After 8pm?

The ability to purchase scratch cards after 8pm varies depending on individual store policies and operational hours. While certain stores may cease selling scratch cards around this time, particularly nearing their closing hours, others, especially those open 24/7, might continue the sale.

What Time Can You Cash a Scratch Card In Until?

Stores typically cease redeeming scratch cards around their closing hours, coinciding with the deactivation of the National Lottery terminal. Consequently, stores are unable to provide payouts for any lottery or National Lottery game once this terminal is switched off.

However, it’s essential to note that this rule may differ among stores, with some setting an earlier deadline for scratch card redemptions compared to their closing time, so it may be a good idea to check first.

Can You Claim Scratch Card Winnings Online?

Claiming any scratch card prizes online is indeed possible and offers convenience, especially for those seeking to circumvent store hours and transactions. Various online platforms host a plethora of scratch card games alongside casino options.Β 

However, for winners of physical scratch cards, online claiming is not an option. Validation must occur at the point of purchase. Moreover, for any potential prizes exceeding retailer limits, direct contact with the game operator may be necessary to claim any winnings.

What Is The Best Time of Day To Buy Scratch Offs?

There isn’t a definitive ‘best’ time of day to buy scratch-offs as the odds of winning remain constant regardless of the timing. The primary factor influencing the odds is the number of tickets sold and the number of prizes remaining.

Unclaimed Scratch Cards – Do They Expire?

Yes, scratch cards do have an expiry date. Once all the tickets of a game have been sold, or the top possible jackpot prizes have been won, scratch cards expire. Any National Lottery scratch card winners typically have 180 days from the expiry date to claim their National Lottery scratch card win.Β 

Any unclaimed prizes after this period are generally allocated to the National Lottery’s charity fund, supporting various good causes and projects across the country. Therefore, it’s advisable to check the expiry dates on scratch cards and claim any potential winnings within the stipulated timeframe.


Understanding the timelines for purchasing and redeeming scratch cards in the UK is pivotal for avid players. While general guidelines suggest alignment with store closing hours, variations exist across different retail chains. Whether buying scratch cards or cashing in potential winnings, being mindful of store policies can ensure a seamless and hassle-free experience for many enthusiasts.

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