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Retailers luckier than expected, Atlantic Lotto says

Atlantic Lottery CorporationAtlantic Lottery Corporation: Retailers luckier than expected, Atlantic Lotto says

Could massive theft and/or deception by retailers be the reason? 

Lottery ticket sellers won 10 times more often than statistically they should have over the last six years, the Atlantic Lottery Corp. said Wednesday.

So far, the review hasn't shown any wrongdoing by retailers in the four Atlantic provinces, an official said.

"Can I statistically explain why retailers are winning 10 times more? No, I can't, and I'm not going to sit here and speculate as to why," said Mike Randall, a corporation vice-president.

The corporation reviewed prizes over a six-year period, from Jan. 1, 2001, to Dec. 31, 2006, and had an expert interpret its findings.

Jacques Allard, with Maritime Statistical Analysis Inc., looked at the self-reported spending of retailers and found they won 10 times more often than statistically they should have.

Out of 1,293 wins of more than $25,000, there were 44 wins by retailers and 25 by store clerks. Those wins totalled $7.5 million, which, Randall said, accounted for less than 0.5 per cent of total prize money paid out over the six-year period.

Randall said officials looked at 44 cases and could find no pattern. The winnings occurred in every type of game and across all four provinces.

"The vast majority of our retailers are honest, hard-working folk," Randall said.

Nevertheless, Sid Chedrawe, with the Independent Food Stores Association, worries the revelation tarnishes retailers.

"Are they saying in a backhanded manner that we are going to find these people guilty one way or another down the road?" Chedrawe asked.

Anomalies in Ontario

Last fall, an investigation by CBC's The Fifth Estate found statistical anomalies in Ontario. Clerks and retailers claimed lottery victories nearly 200 times, when, according to a statistician, they should have been expected to win around 57 times.

Now the CBC has learned that contrary to the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation's claims, the case of an elderly Ontario man whose $250,000 lottery ticket was stolen by a retail clerk might not have been an isolated one.

Fifth Estate producer Harvey Cashore said the lottery revelations are significant news for all Canadians who buy lottery tickets.

"We're finding out now that you may have indeed won the lottery and never have known it," he told CBC Newsworld.

Cashore said he has never heard of a lottery corporation in North America admitting to a problem like this, and commended Atlantic Lotto for its "proactive stance."

Atlantic Lotto improving security

The Atlantic Lottery Corp. is taking steps to improve security, Randall said.

It has special terminals where players can check their own tickets, and by the end of June, screens on all 3,600 of its terminals will face ticket holders so they can watch while the retailer checks their numbers.

The corporation is also considering doing background checks on retailers.

As for ticket buyers, Randall said they can protect themselves by signing the back of their tickets and asking for validation slips at the counter.

CBC

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11 comments. Last comment 10 years ago by JADELottery.
Page 1 of 1
justxploring's avatar - villiarna
Wandering Aimlessly
United States
Member #25360
November 5, 2005
4461 Posts
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Posted: March 17, 2007, 1:00 am - IP Logged

One Sat night while purchasing my Lotto tickets, a clerk was talking about all of the employees who had won at that store, including a $10,000 scratch ticket.  I just shrugged my shoulders, assuming there was little truth to his stories or they were just very lucky, but this article makes me wonder.

    Avatar

    United States
    Member #10720
    January 23, 2005
    933 Posts
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    Posted: March 17, 2007, 1:03 am - IP Logged

    Is this just up in Canada or here too? It's theoretically possible for store owners to inside-trade somehow to know that a certain roll of tickets contains a winner worth more than the cost of the roll. It seems like 10 times is a huge ratio if it's mainly based on some cheating potential winners. It's also up to players to stick with games they understand and play the game as it is intended, and scratch everything on the ticket and double check everything. When a player wins anything they need to watch for the display on the terminal to show the correct amount. If the display is not visible or the clerk is hesitant to show it then maybe something is fishy! But also be careful as a crooked clerk could use sleight of hand to pretend they're scanning yours but really switched in a known losing ticket or one with a small prize. I don't know how the terminals are up in Canada but I assume similar to here.

    Of course it's also possible simply that clerks/retailers play 10 times more than customers?

      justxploring's avatar - villiarna
      Wandering Aimlessly
      United States
      Member #25360
      November 5, 2005
      4461 Posts
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      Posted: March 17, 2007, 2:12 am - IP Logged

      Yikes.  Must be because I've been working all week without much light.  I thought the article said "Atlanta" not "Atlantic" even though it later mentioned Ontario.  Glad I have the weekend to renew brain cells.

        djklaugh's avatar - Lottery-031.jpg
        Portland,Oregon
        United States
        Member #14387
        April 25, 2005
        229 Posts
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        Posted: March 17, 2007, 2:43 am - IP Logged

        Here in Oregon if you take a big win lottery ticket (anything over $600 I think - under $600 can be paid out by anystore that sells lottery tickets) to a store other than the one where you purchased it, the verification machine does not recognize it as a winner - though it does not come back with the "sorry not a winner" notification. Apparently the clerks are under no obligation to tell the owner of the ticket that they need to take their ticket to the store where purchased for validation. I've heard that some clerks also just tell the person it's worthless then throw it in the trash ... and I suspect pick it back out of the trash once the person is gone.  Since the tickets have a number on it for where it was purchased ... and I would imagine that clerks would know how to find out which store the number represented ... I for one would  not be surprised if naive  lottery players were frequently duped.  It is very important (IMO) to check your numbers yourself rather than just have a machine say whether or not it's a winner.... and read all of the fine print on the rules at your state lottery site.

        Djklaugh

          Some things have to be believed to be seen.

        "I have not failed. I have just found ten thousand things that don't work".  Thomas Edison

          justxploring's avatar - villiarna
          Wandering Aimlessly
          United States
          Member #25360
          November 5, 2005
          4461 Posts
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          Posted: March 17, 2007, 12:58 pm - IP Logged

          It is very important (IMO) to check your numbers yourself rather than just have a machine say whether or not it's a winner.... and read all of the fine print on the rules at your state lottery site.

          I Agree! 

          djklaugh, most stores where I've been in FL have a display that shows the amount won, but it depends on howthe terminal is set up. Most players I stand behind simply don't pay any attention, so it would be very easy for someone to say "Nope, not a winner."  Recently I went into a Publix supermarket and saw a "check your ticket" scanner.  I'm not sure if it's also for instant game tickets.  I haven't won a lot of money, but if I get anything I just say "This is a winner" and hand it to the clerk, even when it's only $5.00.  He/she doesn't know if I think it's a $5 winner or a $500 winner.

          I believe that most clerks are honest and just trying to make a living like everyone else, but as in any profession, it's the person, not the job title. 

            txwinr's avatar - Lottery-033.jpg
            Texas
            United States
            Member #1998
            August 6, 2003
            28 Posts
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            Posted: March 17, 2007, 8:19 pm - IP Logged

            I am convinced it shows that retailers and clerks steal from lottery buyers all the time.  Absolutely.  It happened to me in 1994 or 1995 in Texas.  I had bought a ticket and gotten 4 of 6 right and i didn't think to ask for verification when the clerk told me i won $5.  Well, went home and looked it up and it was $105!!!!!!!!!!!! She kept the hundred.  Made me so mad but since i lived 50 miles away there was no way to go back and confront her.  I took it to hear though, i check my numbers first before i take them to be validated.  I think this happens more often than people know.

              Avatar
              Delaware
              United States
              Member #30273
              January 14, 2006
              494 Posts
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              Posted: March 18, 2007, 11:09 am - IP Logged

              Before I hand the tickets over to the clerk, I tell them "I'll keep the loosers." On a few occasions, they throw them out anyway, and I make them retrieve it. Doing that makes me suspicious enough to have them checked at another store. Never had one be a winner though.

              I still try to check my tickets at a limited number of places, where I'm not concerned about theft. In Delaware this is less of a problem because the self-checkers tell you exactly how much you've won.

                Avatar
                boston
                United States
                Member #5586
                July 12, 2004
                130 Posts
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                Posted: March 20, 2007, 10:45 am - IP Logged

                According to people who run a convenience store i buy tickets, they have found over $1M worth of tickets thrown in the trash over the past 15 years. All the money goes to veteran oraganisations. people throw away tickets all the time i have found about $100 in ticks  laying around the lottery stand

                  Elizabeth03's avatar - cat anm.gif
                  Nova Scotia
                  Canada
                  Member #9934
                  December 27, 2004
                  884 Posts
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                  Posted: March 20, 2007, 10:53 am - IP Logged

                  I have never trusted the clerks at stores, they can appear nice to you, or honest, doesn't mean that they are. I check my tickets on the computer first before taking them to a store and I ask the clerk to show me the validation slip of what I have won as well!..

                    Avatar
                    Kingston, Ontario
                    Canada
                    Member #46867
                    October 5, 2006
                    106 Posts
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                    Posted: March 21, 2007, 11:08 pm - IP Logged

                    Is this just up in Canada or here too? It's theoretically possible for store owners to inside-trade somehow to know that a certain roll of tickets contains a winner worth more than the cost of the roll. It seems like 10 times is a huge ratio if it's mainly based on some cheating potential winners. It's also up to players to stick with games they understand and play the game as it is intended, and scratch everything on the ticket and double check everything. When a player wins anything they need to watch for the display on the terminal to show the correct amount. If the display is not visible or the clerk is hesitant to show it then maybe something is fishy! But also be careful as a crooked clerk could use sleight of hand to pretend they're scanning yours but really switched in a known losing ticket or one with a small prize. I don't know how the terminals are up in Canada but I assume similar to here.

                    Of course it's also possible simply that clerks/retailers play 10 times more than customers?

                    It's in the U-S too.  The California lottery last year charged a man who had his ticket stolen by a lottery retailer.  The Fifth Estate covered that story along with the Bob Edmonds one.  If you go to CBC.ca/fifth/  there's information about some of the U-S lottery jurisdictions where retailer fraud happened.

                      JADELottery's avatar - MeAtWork 03.PNG
                      The Quantum Master
                      West Concord, MN
                      United States
                      Member #21
                      December 7, 2001
                      3675 Posts
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                      Posted: March 23, 2007, 6:24 am - IP Logged

                      This sounds like damage control out of fear that lottery consumer confidence may be shattered. The idea that retailers or store clerks are being deceptive could cause people to not purchase lottery tickets. Looking at a statement in the other news post, Atlantic Lottery retailers win 10 times more often than customers, "We didn't find a pattern that pointed to a particular game or to a pattern of wins around one location.", as if this means that a criminal act has not occurred. That's like someone in law enforcement (police) saying because we can not find any pattern to robberies, shootings, muggings and murders there is no crime in the city.

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