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Calif. Lottery misprint leaves 'winners' with nothing

California LotteryCalifornia Lottery: Calif. Lottery misprint leaves 'winners' with nothing

Many people thought they struck it rich playing one of the California Lottery's Scratcher games. But they didn't, and lottery officials blame a misprint, an error, to explain why some folks got a free game ticket instead of thousands of dollars in cash.

The Luna family thought Christmas had come early.

"My understanding is I won it fair and square."

Lucy Luna was playing the $3 Scratcher Word Crossword. The ticket says scratch letters to reveal 10 words — win $20,000.

Lucy scratched and, to her delight, found 10 words. She jumped into her car and drove to Sacramento thinking she'd come home with a big check.

"The manager said it was a misprint and they'd give me a free ticket for my $20,000 winner," Luna said.

The way the game is supposed to work is with 18 letters on the top on the ticket, scratchers find a matching letter below. Then they scratch away to reveal the same letter.

But the printer somehow superimposed a scratch layer on the surface that didn't match the letters beneath it, throwing the game out of synch.

Lottery spokesman Rob McAndrews attributed the problem to human error.  "The lottery deeply regrets this has happened. Human error does occur."

The lottery figures about 4,000 of the 11,000 flawed tickets were sold before they could pull them. In fact, when Lucy went to Sacramento, she met another $20,000 winner in the lottery office who was given the same, 'sorry we messed up' explanation, but no check.

Lucy's not sure she's going to handle this, but for Christmas she recommends the lottery get coal in its shoes.

"There's 11,000 tickets out there, there's probably going to be more claiming this one. I don't now what they're going to do."

Lucy bought her ticket at a Vallejo Safeway, which has removed all the flawed tickets from its machines.

As far as the 4,000 flawed tickets that were sold since November 30th, the lottery says they don't know how many of those might belong to disputed winners.

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39 comments. Last comment 10 years ago by LckyLary.
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lucky146's avatar - animal monkey.jpg
ny
United States
Member #40152
May 28, 2006
77 Posts
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Posted: December 12, 2006, 8:12 am - IP Logged

That is really disgraceful. They should honor the ticket if they made the mistake. But I guess when your dealing with *the lottery* you should expect sleeziness.

    Avatar
    Coastal Georgia
    United States
    Member #2653
    October 30, 2003
    1866 Posts
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    Posted: December 12, 2006, 8:17 am - IP Logged

    They should make them good, but remember it's THEIR game, so they make the rules .

    It would be a good gesture, but since when does the lottery commission and good judgement get mentioned in the same sentence ?

     

                                   

                  

     

     

      Raven62's avatar - binary
      New Jersey
      United States
      Member #17843
      June 28, 2005
      49730 Posts
      Online
      Posted: December 12, 2006, 9:01 am - IP Logged

      That is really disgraceful. They should honor the ticket if they made the mistake. But I guess when your dealing with *the lottery* you should expect sleeziness.

      I Agree! They should Honor the Ticket!

      A mind once stretched by a new idea never returns to its original dimensions!


        United States
        Member #379
        June 5, 2002
        11296 Posts
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        Posted: December 12, 2006, 10:24 am - IP Logged

        Did she think of having a clerk check her ticket? Maybe she thought if she did that, the agent would say it's not a winner, with the clerk refusing to give the ticket back to her.

          Avatar
          New Member
          Vacaville, Ca.
          United States
          Member #46529
          September 12, 2006
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          Posted: December 12, 2006, 10:36 am - IP Logged

          The California Lottery is very sorry that this error has occurred and will reimburse any player who purchased a misprinted ticket for the cost of the ticket. The Lottery will continue to pay the prize for any winning tickets.

           

          This is posted on the Ca Lottery website. I wonder if this means they will pay all the winners even on the misprinted ones or just real winners?

          Brian

            cps10's avatar - Lottery-004.jpg
            The Carolinas - Charlotte
            United States
            Member #21627
            September 12, 2005
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            Posted: December 12, 2006, 10:39 am - IP Logged

            This is disgusting and dispicable. Next thing you know, some poor sap in El Segundo will hit the Super Lotto for $19 million and the State will claim that it was a "printer error"...sorry, better luck next time. Here's a free lollipop for you, sucker.

            The North Carolina Education Lottery - so much a joke that here are their mascots:

            Stooges

              Avatar

              United States
              Member #34266
              March 1, 2006
              188 Posts
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              Posted: December 12, 2006, 10:43 am - IP Logged

              Shame on them, scratchers are the best cash cows for the lottery, they should eat their mistakes just like the rest of us.

                RJOh's avatar - chipmunk
                mid-Ohio
                United States
                Member #9
                March 24, 2001
                19826 Posts
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                Posted: December 12, 2006, 11:05 am - IP Logged

                All lottery games need lots of losers to be profitable, if a mistake cause there to be lots of winners instead the game could be a financial disaster and no state is going to be a party to that.  The facts are when a scratch-off game is designed the number of possible winners and losers are fixed, and if a winning ticket isn't on the roll of tickets from which you're buying you have not chance of winning.  That's the reason I seldom buy one.  Unlike the games with drawings, everybody have an equal chance to win up to the drawings.  If there are more winners than expected there are rules to handle it which have been posted before the game.

                 * you don't need to buy more tickets, just buy a winning ticket * 
                   
                             Evil Looking       

                  mjwinsmith's avatar - moon

                  United States
                  Member #391
                  June 8, 2002
                  16067 Posts
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                  Posted: December 12, 2006, 11:57 am - IP Logged

                  If it was me I'd get a lawyer and sue.

                  Printing error is not my problem, that's what insurance is for and the state should have insurance for such situations. 

                  Crap like this make you wonder about the Lotteries as a whole which is the bigger picture.

                  Bring back the local bookie, LOL (smile).

                  And the idiots in Washington want to stop on-line gambling, heck the internet gamers never pulled this crap as far as I know. 

                    cps10's avatar - Lottery-004.jpg
                    The Carolinas - Charlotte
                    United States
                    Member #21627
                    September 12, 2005
                    4138 Posts
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                    Posted: December 12, 2006, 12:04 pm - IP Logged

                    If it was me I'd get a lawyer and sue.

                    Printing error is not my problem, that's what insurance is for and the state should have insurance for such situations. 

                    Crap like this make you wonder about the Lotteries as a whole which is the bigger picture.

                    Bring back the local bookie, LOL (smile).

                    And the idiots in Washington want to stop on-line gambling, heck the internet gamers never pulled this crap as far as I know. 

                    Mike

                    I know there are some shady online operators, but the "big boys" give very little trouble to the average gambler.

                    This whole situation regarding CA is downright reprehensible. I agree...anybody can come up with the old "printer error" situation...that shouldn't be our problem as players as if they go on sale to the public, then they should be good to go.

                    The North Carolina Education Lottery - so much a joke that here are their mascots:

                    Stooges

                      Avatar
                      Northern California
                      United States
                      Member #19948
                      August 9, 2005
                      151 Posts
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                      Posted: December 12, 2006, 12:17 pm - IP Logged

                      Every instant ticket, as well as the posted game rules and State law, state that the Lottery will not pay tickets printed in error. To pay those tickets would come right out of profits, which would hurt contributions to education. Unless of course you levied a hefty liquidated damage against the ticket printer - that might provide an incentive for them to do better quality control. Maybe call on them to make good on the tickets... (as GTECH once did when they had an online game problem in the UK)

                       

                      There is no way that 11,000 misprinted tickets should have gotten through the vendor/lottery security review when they were printed. This was not a human error - it was a system error since no human can realistically hope to effectivley review million of tickets during the print process.

                       

                      No doubt about it - replacing a misprint with a free ticket is bad. Tickets that go on sale should be "good to go" as stated by CPS10.

                       

                      Another black eye brought to you by the brain trust at the CSL.

                        mjwinsmith's avatar - moon

                        United States
                        Member #391
                        June 8, 2002
                        16067 Posts
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                        Posted: December 12, 2006, 12:33 pm - IP Logged

                        Mike

                        I know there are some shady online operators, but the "big boys" give very little trouble to the average gambler.

                        This whole situation regarding CA is downright reprehensible. I agree...anybody can come up with the old "printer error" situation...that shouldn't be our problem as players as if they go on sale to the public, then they should be good to go.

                        They're good and bad in all operators, that's really not the issue.

                        Vendors that have contracts with the state to print tickets should have some type of audit process to catch these type of glitches, and when they don't they are liable. Get a lawyer and sue, maybe not the state since they can get out of anything, that's just the way it is and what people are allowing the state to get away with. But the contractor should be liable for misprints and the financial burden they create.

                        The average Joe/Jane purchased a ticket in good faith, and it said it's a winner. They should be compensated pure plain and simple.

                        How would you like it if the treasury said oops we made a mistake in Twenty dollar bills, they are no longer legal tender. Think about it.

                          johnph77's avatar - avatar
                          CA
                          United States
                          Member #2987
                          December 10, 2003
                          832 Posts
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                          Posted: December 12, 2006, 3:47 pm - IP Logged

                          They're good and bad in all operators, that's really not the issue.

                          Vendors that have contracts with the state to print tickets should have some type of audit process to catch these type of glitches, and when they don't they are liable. Get a lawyer and sue, maybe not the state since they can get out of anything, that's just the way it is and what people are allowing the state to get away with. But the contractor should be liable for misprints and the financial burden they create.

                          The average Joe/Jane purchased a ticket in good faith, and it said it's a winner. They should be compensated pure plain and simple.

                          How would you like it if the treasury said oops we made a mistake in Twenty dollar bills, they are no longer legal tender. Think about it.

                          In order to retain their credibility CA needs to pay the winners then seek reimbursement from the vendor. Period. It shouldn't be the responsibility of the bettor to seek reimbursement from the CSL's vendor.

                          Blessed Saint Leibowitz, keep 'em dreamin' down there..... 

                          Next week's convention for Psychics and Prognosticators has been cancelled due to unforeseen circumstances.

                           =^.^=

                            cps10's avatar - Lottery-004.jpg
                            The Carolinas - Charlotte
                            United States
                            Member #21627
                            September 12, 2005
                            4138 Posts
                            Offline
                            Posted: December 12, 2006, 3:54 pm - IP Logged

                            They're good and bad in all operators, that's really not the issue.

                            Vendors that have contracts with the state to print tickets should have some type of audit process to catch these type of glitches, and when they don't they are liable. Get a lawyer and sue, maybe not the state since they can get out of anything, that's just the way it is and what people are allowing the state to get away with. But the contractor should be liable for misprints and the financial burden they create.

                            The average Joe/Jane purchased a ticket in good faith, and it said it's a winner. They should be compensated pure plain and simple.

                            How would you like it if the treasury said oops we made a mistake in Twenty dollar bills, they are no longer legal tender. Think about it.

                            Mike

                            Thank you for your response. You are spot-on with this one. This is also why they ask you to sign the back of them, because like checks, lottery tickets ALSO are legal tender in that if it is not signed, anyone can turn it in.

                            They should be compensated far beyond a free ticket. And yes, the printer should be liable. If a handful get out, that is reasonable error rate, and those also should be compensated, but *gasp* FOUR THOUSAND of them? Inexcusable, and they should hang on the line for this mistake.

                            The North Carolina Education Lottery - so much a joke that here are their mascots:

                            Stooges