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Lawsuit claims NY state is ripping off lottery customers

New York LotteryNew York Lottery: Lawsuit claims NY state is ripping off lottery customers

A lawsuit claims the New York State Division of Lottery is tricking people into playing its Take Five lottery game by exaggerating the likelihood of winning.

The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Manhattan on Monday, said people were cheated of more than $5 million. It seeks unspecified damages and an order putting a stop to what it portrayed as a rip-off.

The plaintiff in the lawsuit was identified as M. McKee, a resident of Richmond County.

The lawsuit called her an "especially avid purchaser of tickets for Take Five" and thus a target of a massive advertising campaign across television, radio and print.

The lawsuit, which seeks class-action status, said she was tricked by advertising that promised a one-in-nine chance of winning, when the actual most likely result is what is called a "Quick Pick Free Play."

It said that amounts to another chance to hit two of the game's five numbers, drawn daily from 39 different numbers. The lawsuit said the actual odds of winning a cash prize was 1-in-109, a sixth place prize of an average of $7.

The lawsuit said that despite this, the advertising boasts that there are 100,000 winners in the game every day. The filing seeks to hold liable some of the merchants who sell lottery tickets, saying they were complicit in the fraud.

"The odds are very well detailed for all our games," said John Charlson, a spokesman for the state Lottery Division. "The clear message is that the one-in-nine odds definitely includes winning a Free Play, and that's conveyed in our brochure and on our Web site."

He said he hadn't yet seen the lawsuit, but said it sounded like it was reiterating a complaint made last week by Councilman Peter Vallone.

AP

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5 comments. Last comment 6 years ago by Stack47.
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United States
Member #59167
March 8, 2008
174 Posts
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Posted: May 6, 2008, 1:33 pm - IP Logged

"exaggerating the likelihood of winning"

Would wudda think it? The Lottery exaggerating the likelihood of winning! D-U-H ! 

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    United States
    Member #1826
    July 11, 2003
    2645 Posts
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    Posted: May 6, 2008, 5:57 pm - IP Logged

    This lawsuit won't work if you completely get the details of the game wrong. How can there be a sixth division when there are only four prize divisions? And the lowest cash prize averages $20, not $7.

    (insert signature here)

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      NY
      United States
      Member #23835
      October 16, 2005
      2842 Posts
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      Posted: May 7, 2008, 1:22 am - IP Logged

      There are eight ways to win. The 6th pays about $7, and the last 2 both get a free ticket. They got the details right, but the lawsuit should fail because the lottery's advertising is correct, and it's not their fault that some players are too stupid to understand what they've been told.

        Sandra Dee's avatar - dandy
        Bayonne
        United States
        Member #61147
        May 13, 2008
        129 Posts
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        Posted: June 2, 2008, 3:47 pm - IP Logged

        well, that's not what I term ripping off - just some good PR and trickery .. ripping off is me buying a $1 game and them charing me $5 and won't release my ticket unless I come up with the other $4 .. or selling me $1 scratch offs but knowing they are the bad batch [all losers] .. that's a group lawsuit i would jump on .. this one, not so much Bandit

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          Kentucky
          United States
          Member #32652
          February 14, 2006
          5539 Posts
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          Posted: June 2, 2008, 5:13 pm - IP Logged

          well, that's not what I term ripping off - just some good PR and trickery .. ripping off is me buying a $1 game and them charing me $5 and won't release my ticket unless I come up with the other $4 .. or selling me $1 scratch offs but knowing they are the bad batch [all losers] .. that's a group lawsuit i would jump on .. this one, not so much Bandit

          "or selling me $1 scratch offs but knowing they are the bad batch [all losers] .. that's a group lawsuit i would jump on .."

          They have the overall odds on the back of ticket and just because you or a clerk believes 1:5 means every fifth ticket, it's not proof the game is rigged. Some people believe the game rules should be printed in multiple languages, in braille, and the lotteries should have a rep on the site to explain it to those who can't read or understand them.