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Change in Penn. Lottery scratch tickets removes shortcut

Pennsylvania LotteryPennsylvania Lottery: Change in Penn. Lottery scratch tickets removes shortcut

A change in the format of Pennsylvania Lottery scratch-off tickets to prevent fraud means that some lottery players could be mistakenly tossing away winning tickets, retailers said.

Since January, instant tickets have been printed with a new kind of security coding for retailers to verify that a winning ticket is valid.

Previously, a row of letters and numbers at the top or bottom of a ticket indicated the prize won. For example, a row interspersed with (5) and (0) meant the ticket was a $50 winner , and was used by retailers to verify that the scratched off numerals on the game were not tampered with.

Savvy players knew that they could determine whether they had a winning ticket simply by scratching off the small code without taking on the more time-consuming task of uncovering the entire ticket.

That's no longer the case, but retailers say some players don't know about the change. The new tickets still have a row of numbers, but they no longer correspond to whether the ticket is a winner.

"This one guy threw one away in the garbage right in front of me, and I told him to check again, and sure enough he had won a free ticket," said Ramona Haldeman, a clerk at Hess Express in Frackville. "I've been telling everyone to recheck them. I think a lot of people might be throwing winners away."

The new tickets use code letters instead of numbers to verify the prize won, and the letters are placed within the larger play area. For example, a $50 winning ticket will has the letters "F," "T," "Y" scattered throughout the actual play area of the ticket.

These changes make cheating more difficult, lottery spokesman Steve Kniley said.

"The games are designed to be played by scratching off the whole thing," he said. "And the vast majority of people play that way. The rules of our lottery games tell you how to play and how to know you've won. There's nothing about a number in parentheses."

Haldeman said she has been informing her customers of the change.

"Now they're going to have to actually play the game to see if they've won," she said.

AP

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13 comments. Last comment 7 years ago by sirbrad.
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GBSSR's avatar - spider
PA
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April 8, 2004
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Posted: March 12, 2007, 12:34 pm - IP Logged

While checking the winners posted on the Pa lotterys site, I noticed that the same individuals were winning month after month. I e-mailed the lottery in Dec  and mentioned my findings. They said it was just luck. Then they changed the format of their tickets............ You tell me what was up.

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    Delaware
    United States
    Member #30273
    January 14, 2006
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    Posted: March 12, 2007, 5:36 pm - IP Logged

    While checking the winners posted on the Pa lotterys site, I noticed that the same individuals were winning month after month. I e-mailed the lottery in Dec  and mentioned my findings. They said it was just luck. Then they changed the format of their tickets............ You tell me what was up.

    You have a lot of senior citizens who buy a lot of scratch off tickets in Pennsylvania. That will account for quite a bit of it. I recongize some of the names on the list as real people who are not insiders. I'm not saying its impossible, but it doesn't account for all of them. They may just be addicts.

    That being said, don't forget about the infamous 666 drawing in the early 1980s.

      TheGameGrl's avatar - p42a
      Pennsylvania
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      Member #17084
      June 10, 2005
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      Posted: March 12, 2007, 5:56 pm - IP Logged

      True fact- the name "Patel" is the most named claimant under instant tickets in PA. Not a month goes by when researching this that our group takes a bet on how many are claimed under that name. It beats Smith or Miller sir names hands down.  Most often these are the owners or family members of covenience stores....

      As to the *no shortcut rule*. Its bogus. If you are somewhat familiar with how the new ticket format works, all you need to know is if you get a letter Q,Z,P on your ticket anywhere, its a loser! I dont waste my time scratching the whole ticket , so there is a shortcut.

      The irony is that when I did have a winner under the new format the cashier told me flat out she wasnt going to run it thru, swearing it was a loser. I politely told her that the new format was in play and all she needed to do was check the letters. I had a "T-E-N"running thru it. She still insisted it was a waste of her time, she knows that a number in parenthesis should be there. I left rather upset. I often think of how many less knowing folks just took this cashier at her word without going else where to claim their monies due.

      ________________________________

      Signature quote-If I'd agree with you , we'd both be wrong.

        duckman's avatar - ducklogodrake64x64
        Jacksonville Florida
        United States
        Member #23018
        October 6, 2005
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        Posted: March 12, 2007, 6:19 pm - IP Logged

        You should always check scratch off tickets completely. Some states which use the 3 letter codes only have meaningful codes for prizes up to $599 (useful for retailers to verify tickets). Big prizes may have a "non-winning" 3 letter code on them. For example, here in Florida, a common non-winning 3 letter code is "NVW". However, I have seen a big winning ticket (over $600) use the same "NVW" code.

        So, always check tickets completely...big winners may have seemingly non-winning 3 letter codes.

          duckman's avatar - ducklogodrake64x64
          Jacksonville Florida
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          Posted: March 12, 2007, 6:53 pm - IP Logged

          Regarding the post about the name "Patel" winning a lot:

          That is interesting. It looks like from the lottery website's winner's lists that some Patel's with the same first name and location are winning mid-level scratch game prizes ($1000 winners for example) more than once per month. The same first and last name(s) also appear in more than one month. This means one of two things:

          1. The same first/last name Patel's are spending a HUGE amount of money buying these tickets (the odds for a $1000 scratch winner are usually around 1 in 15,000 or so for higher priced tickets, $5 and $10 a pop).

          ---or---

          2. They know something about the tickets that the general population doesn't know...hmmm...

          I would say they were just lucky if it was just one month, but to have the same person win so many times over more than one month means they are buying a hugh amount of tickets or ???

            TheGameGrl's avatar - p42a
            Pennsylvania
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            Posted: March 12, 2007, 7:41 pm - IP Logged

            Since this topic was specifically about the PA instant tickets, the one thing that doesnt change is the LOSING LETTER Indicators. Q,P,Z ,B  are listed on the PA site as indicators that one has a losing ticket. You are more then welcome to read the New site validation code and see if what I relay is true. I try not to mis represent the facts as they are reported...

            I side with the concept of my co-workers on the one sir name (patel)winning alot. They deliberately stay under the radar by NOT claiming the higher winning prizes but do seem to claim ALOT in the 1 k category.  They arent going to be accessed on taxes so high and they can continue there little *cough* streak of luck...I beg to differ that its luck... ( I say the #2 summation from the earlier poster is more towards the truth then luck).

            ________________________________

            Signature quote-If I'd agree with you , we'd both be wrong.

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              chicago
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              February 10, 2004
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              Posted: March 12, 2007, 9:25 pm - IP Logged

              Those letters make playing the game pointless. I hate these letters. I scratch the first part of the game and I see an x and I know its a loser. Why not just have three big letters on the ticket instead of the numbers and prizes. Are people really that stupid that they need a code also to tell them they won. I refuse to play states instants that have them. Thank God Illinois doesnt.

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                Delaware
                United States
                Member #30273
                January 14, 2006
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                Posted: March 12, 2007, 9:32 pm - IP Logged

                Those letters make playing the game pointless. I hate these letters. I scratch the first part of the game and I see an x and I know its a loser. Why not just have three big letters on the ticket instead of the numbers and prizes. Are people really that stupid that they need a code also to tell them they won. I refuse to play states instants that have them. Thank God Illinois doesnt.

                Of the states I'm familiar with: DE, PA, MD have letters. NJ doesn't.

                New York has letters, but I won $40 on a $20 Win for Life ticket and it had an X in it.

                  sirbrad's avatar - Lottery-062.jpg
                  PA
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                  Posted: March 13, 2007, 12:34 am - IP Logged

                  True fact- the name "Patel" is the most named claimant under instant tickets in PA. Not a month goes by when researching this that our group takes a bet on how many are claimed under that name. It beats Smith or Miller sir names hands down.  Most often these are the owners or family members of covenience stores....

                  As to the *no shortcut rule*. Its bogus. If you are somewhat familiar with how the new ticket format works, all you need to know is if you get a letter Q,Z,P on your ticket anywhere, its a loser! I dont waste my time scratching the whole ticket , so there is a shortcut.

                  The irony is that when I did have a winner under the new format the cashier told me flat out she wasnt going to run it thru, swearing it was a loser. I politely told her that the new format was in play and all she needed to do was check the letters. I had a "T-E-N"running thru it. She still insisted it was a waste of her time, she knows that a number in parenthesis should be there. I left rather upset. I often think of how many less knowing folks just took this cashier at her word without going else where to claim their monies due.

                  Since that didn't work, you should have then called the cashier a moron and asked to see the manager.

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                    Posted: March 13, 2007, 1:00 am - IP Logged

                    Usually I get a scratch ticket if it's a new one that I like or if it takes time to play because to me it's no fun to quickly check for a winning code. I usually see yards of these tickets discarded and often find ones with missed prizes. I even wrote a prg. that can check Crosswords but only to double-check if I missed anything. They should make one of the scratch-offs with a theme of scratching one spot either "YOU WIN (amount)" or "SORRY", for people who are in such a hurry. One of those for each prize/price level. I am glad they changed the system because I always play them through.

                    The odd thing here is that PA is doing something that will cause LESS tickets to be sold because it will take much longer to play each one.. but you can count on many players having the agent scan them in rapid order and on a few agents that cheat such players.

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                      Pa
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                      Posted: March 13, 2007, 7:54 pm - IP Logged

                      Well your are right with Patel they own a lot of stores in Pa and there is one that pays less then the winnings so the person does not have to pay taxes.

                      I do not buy any tickets there anymore because I think it is wrong for them to come in this country and do the things they do.

                        TheGameGrl's avatar - p42a
                        Pennsylvania
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                        Posted: March 13, 2007, 8:46 pm - IP Logged

                        Lckylry- To each there own. I personally see NO sense in scratching off the whole thing only to know by the Loser letters that I lost. Pardon me if I dont care to in essense to endure the losing pain by completing the scratch off. End result is the same. A losing ticket is a losing ticket. If I see an M, C or an L I know I am on the right track to win big!

                        Grammy3- Glad to know my groups hypothesis is merited in some truth. Thanks for pointing out the validity of our theory. The PA lottery doesnt discriminate and nor will I when a legitimate player wins. I do disagree in the underhanded ways people claim tickets or sell the winning ticket for a lower cash amount so they dont have to claim taxes.  I'm pleased you have some ethics and morals when it comes to where you buy your tickets :)

                        Sirbrad: Doubtful I would insult a person who was less then knowledged, otherwise the President would be the first in which I would call such a name :)  Just as players can be confused that is how I thought this cashier to be. Confused with the two different methods that were still being used to validate.

                        ________________________________

                        Signature quote-If I'd agree with you , we'd both be wrong.

                          sirbrad's avatar - Lottery-062.jpg
                          PA
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                          Posted: March 13, 2007, 10:46 pm - IP Logged

                          I actually posted the first thread about this awhile back. Personally I think it is all a waste of time to change the code. If people want to cheat themselves out of the fun let them. I don't mind ignorance from a cashier, but arrogant ignorance with no merit or validation really irritates me. Or in other words, someone who is blatantly wrong assuming they must be right, and you are the "idiot."

                          It is their job to know about these changes, not inconvenience a customer who is "right" and send them off with nothing. I am also pretty modest, and humble most of the time; but there is only so much I will tolerate.