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$20M lawsuit against Hoosier Lottery gets class-action status

Indiana LotteryIndiana Lottery: $20M lawsuit against Hoosier Lottery gets class-action status

Judge lets others join $20M suit over defunct game

Lottery exaggerated number of prizes on its Web site

If you lost playing the Hoosier Lottery's Cash Blast scratch-off game two to three years ago, you could still come out a winner.

If you still have your ticket, that is.

A $20 million lawsuit accusing the lottery of overstating the number of available prizes was granted class-action status last week by a Marion Superior Court judge, opening the suit to anyone who purchased a Cash Blast ticket and lost between May 2005 and July 2006.

Though the issue with the Cash Blast game was a one-time problem — and the game has since been discontinued — the lottery continues to be criticized about issues with scratch-off games. The specific concern with those games is that tickets continue to be sold after top prizes have been won.

The class-action suit, filed early last year, pertains only to the Cash Blast game. The suit alleges the lottery advertised more than $8 million in prizes for the Cash Blast game that were, in fact, not available.

More than $20 million in losing tickets were purchased in that period, and the suit seeks a refund for anyone who bought any of the losing $10 tickets.

Lottery spokesman Andrew Reed said the lottery does not comment on pending lawsuits.

If the suit is successful, anyone who joined the class action would likely have to file a claim for a refund either by submitting their losing ticket or signing an affidavit stating they lost, said David Brimm, one of the plaintiffs' attorneys. Brimm said many players, especially those who expect to claim their winnings on their tax returns, hold on to their losing tickets so they can write off those losses.

Judge Gerald Zore's July 3 decision was based on the claims of 49 people who had submitted affidavits saying they played the game because they thought there were more prizes available than existed. Their affidavits included the losing tickets.

Jeff Frazer, Carmel, and Jeff Koehlinger, Auburn, filed the suit in Marion County after Frazer had purchased $40,000 in tickets and Koehlinger spent $2,470 on the game.

The overstatement of prizes occurred because half of the 5 million Cash Blast tickets printed were defective, according to their claims.

The lottery reprinted the 2.5 million tickets but did not announce that the prizes associated with the defective tickets were no longer available.

On June 22, 2006 — more than a year after taking the flawed tickets off the market — the lottery noted on its Web site that seven of the initial 10 $250,000 prizes associated with the game remained available, the suit says.

By July 7, 2006, after realizing it had too many prizes listed on its Web site, the lottery announced that the number of $250,000 prizes remaining had dropped to one. The number of prizes of $50 or more fell from 65,570 to 5,197.

While the odds of the game never changed, the suit says a high volume of tickets were purchased because it appeared many top prizes were still available.

Five days after the lawsuit was filed in January 2007, the lottery began issuing $10 coupons to anyone who sent in a losing Cash Blast ticket, the claim says.

Indianapolis Star

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13 comments. Last comment 8 years ago by LottoAce.
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Coin Toss's avatar - shape barbed.jpg
Zeta Reticuli Star System
United States
Member #30470
January 17, 2006
10353 Posts
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Posted: July 11, 2008, 2:28 pm - IP Logged

Remember Losing Jeff and his diatribes about the Hoosier Lottery?

Those who run the lotteries love it when players look for consistency in something that's designed not to have any.

Lep

There is one and only one 'proven' system, and that is to book the action. No matter the game, let the players pick their own losers.

    Todd's avatar - Cylon 2.gif
    Chief Bottle Washer
    New Jersey
    United States
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    May 31, 2000
    23273 Posts
    Online
    Posted: July 11, 2008, 2:35 pm - IP Logged

    I'm not sure about "diatribes", but I do recall a lot of frustration over the fact that there have been several corruption probes over the years, and that both the Hoosier Lottery and the state government are very secretive, and possibly covering up some very troubling information.

    Both he and Jim695 have been strong advocates over the years of cleaning up the Hoosier Lottery and politicians who have been less than honest with the public.  Hats-off to them both for raising the issues and sticking with it through thick and thin.

     

    Check the State Lottery Report Card
    What grade did your lottery earn?

     

    Sign the Petition for True Lottery Drawings
    Help eliminate computerized drawings!

      Coin Toss's avatar - shape barbed.jpg
      Zeta Reticuli Star System
      United States
      Member #30470
      January 17, 2006
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      Posted: July 11, 2008, 2:42 pm - IP Logged

      Todd, Losing Jeff had a thread going one time about how lawyers in Indiana told him yes, he had a case- but since his case would require them going up against the state of Indiana, who licenses them, they couldn't.

      So he then contacted some lawyers in Illinois and they also told him he had a case, but they were Illinois lawyers and couldn't pursue such a case in Indiana.

      Stickey wicket + "there's a carch Yossarian, Catch-22", in a lotto sense.

      Those who run the lotteries love it when players look for consistency in something that's designed not to have any.

      Lep

      There is one and only one 'proven' system, and that is to book the action. No matter the game, let the players pick their own losers.

        Todd's avatar - Cylon 2.gif
        Chief Bottle Washer
        New Jersey
        United States
        Member #1
        May 31, 2000
        23273 Posts
        Online
        Posted: July 11, 2008, 3:17 pm - IP Logged

        Todd, Losing Jeff had a thread going one time about how lawyers in Indiana told him yes, he had a case- but since his case would require them going up against the state of Indiana, who licenses them, they couldn't.

        So he then contacted some lawyers in Illinois and they also told him he had a case, but they were Illinois lawyers and couldn't pursue such a case in Indiana.

        Stickey wicket + "there's a carch Yossarian, Catch-22", in a lotto sense.

        Yes, and the fact that he and Jim had pursued the matter that far speaks to their character and resolve.  There are many other stories I've recently heard about the Indiana government -- even at the local level -- that would make your head spin.  I'll wager that they'll receive their comeuppance one day.

         

        Check the State Lottery Report Card
        What grade did your lottery earn?

         

        Sign the Petition for True Lottery Drawings
        Help eliminate computerized drawings!

          time*treat's avatar - radar

          United States
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          March 30, 2005
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          Posted: July 11, 2008, 3:35 pm - IP Logged

          Who are they crappin'?Blue Thinking

          Not many people are going to keep a busted scratch-off for longer than it takes for the next trash pickup.

          This story has a couple of "Jeff"s in it. Maybe one of 'em is ours.

          In neo-conned Amerika, bank robs you.
          Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms should be the name of a convenience store, not a govnoment agency.

            ThatScaryChick's avatar - x1MqPuM
            Idaho
            United States
            Member #56506
            November 21, 2007
            6537 Posts
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            Posted: July 11, 2008, 3:40 pm - IP Logged

            Who are they crappin'?Blue Thinking

            Not many people are going to keep a busted scratch-off for longer than it takes for the next trash pickup.

            This story has a couple of "Jeff"s in it. Maybe one of 'em is ours.

            Oh I didn't notice that. I wonder if Losing Jeff is one of them?

            "No one remembers the person who almost climbed the mountain, only the person who eventually gets to the top."

              DC81's avatar - batman39
              MI
              United States
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              August 31, 2007
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              Posted: July 11, 2008, 3:55 pm - IP Logged

              He bought 4,000 tickets at $10 each? Must have a lot of disposable income or blew all or a good chunk of his savings. Either way, states need to be held responsible for their mistakes and whatever they do to try and cover it up. The real winners will be the attorneys since I'm sure they'll get a nice big part of the money.

              You can't predict random.

                justxploring's avatar - villiarna
                Wandering Aimlessly
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                November 5, 2005
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                Posted: July 11, 2008, 6:32 pm - IP Logged

                I know this isn't about Florida, but it's an interesting coincidence that the investigative report on WINK TV this week was about a similar subject.  Wed night during a commercial break I heard "Lottery prizes gone even before you purchased your ticket.  Story at 11." 

                Just google the 3 words wink news lottery and you can read about it. 

                BTW, I agree with time*treat when he said most people don't hang onto a losing scratch-off.   Most people I see at Publix scratch at the counter or while sitting on a bench outside the store and toss them.

                  Badger's avatar - adu50016 NorthAmericanBadger.jpg
                  Wisconsin
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                  Posted: July 12, 2008, 4:17 pm - IP Logged

                  Well maybe this is one Class Action Lawsuit that will amount to something.   If you have to still have your ticket to participate, that will significantly cut down the number of participants.

                  Usually there are so many that each individual is lucky to get a pittance.  The most I ever got was 5 bucks from participating in one of these things.  The rest goes heavily into lawyer fees.  The lawyers always seem to make out, even if the litigants don't.

                  ============

                  How can you tell if a politician is lying?

                  Answer: His lips are moving.

                    Badger's avatar - adu50016 NorthAmericanBadger.jpg
                    Wisconsin
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                    Posted: July 12, 2008, 4:27 pm - IP Logged

                    Though the issue with the Cash Blast game was a one-time problem — and the game has since been discontinued — the lottery continues to be criticized about issues with scratch-off games. The specific concern with those games is that tickets continue to be sold after top prizes have been won.

                    This is one thing that won't change though.   All state lotteries do this, because if they didn't, they would have to stop offering the scratch-off games.

                    It's all based upon odds, and there are a finite number of tickets printed for each game.  Say they print $500,000 in prizes and each ticket costs $5 to buy, and the top prize is $50,000.    If that ticket gets sold the first day, let's say its the the one hundredth ticket sold.

                    The lottery has then made a gross of $500 worth of income and has paid out $50,000 on the game (or more if any of the other 99 tickets was a smaller prize winner).  So they'd be in the hole for $49,500 if they had to stop selling the game just because the top prize was awarded.

                    Meaning that if the court decided (decides) that they can't sell tickets after the top prize is awarded, they would stop selling scratch-offs of any kind in the future. They couldn't take the chance that they would be losing money.  And if that gets decided as such In Indiana, it would quickly apply to all other states.

                    No more scratch-offs.

                    ============

                    How can you tell if a politician is lying?

                    Answer: His lips are moving.

                      time*treat's avatar - radar

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                      Posted: July 13, 2008, 9:31 am - IP Logged

                      Though the issue with the Cash Blast game was a one-time problem — and the game has since been discontinued — the lottery continues to be criticized about issues with scratch-off games. The specific concern with those games is that tickets continue to be sold after top prizes have been won.

                      More dungpile-with-a-side-of-flies. A "one-time" gov't problem? Ummm....

                      INDIANAPOLIS - The Hoosier Lottery has told its retailers to stop selling scratch-off tickets for games in which the top prizes already have been won, a report Saturday said.

                      The lottery sent a message to retailers late last week telling them to remove three games from circulation: $20 Solid Gold, $5 Monthly Money and $2 Heads orTails, The Indianapolis Star reported.

                      Solid Gold's final million-dollar prize was claimed May 28, but tickets continued to be sold. Top prizes in the other two games were awarded within the past three weeks.

                      Those WMDs are around here, somewhere, too.

                      In neo-conned Amerika, bank robs you.
                      Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms should be the name of a convenience store, not a govnoment agency.

                        Instyle's avatar - Lottery-044.jpg

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                        Posted: July 14, 2008, 12:50 am - IP Logged

                        Hi, Time

                        In my hope of winning the big one, for tax purposes i would hold on to every lottery ticket i purchased.  when i win the big one or even a medium size win, i can use the lossing tickets to offset my win.  so , I  am  one of the ones that saves my tickets.  I know what your thinking :) and you are right,  I haven't won yet so, at the end of the year i throw them away and start over.  Too bad im in Georgia, that lawsuit would come in handy to me!   take care

                          LottoAce's avatar - WWI Flying_Ace.gif
                          N.C.
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                          Posted: July 14, 2008, 10:06 am - IP Logged

                          Hi, Time

                          In my hope of winning the big one, for tax purposes i would hold on to every lottery ticket i purchased.  when i win the big one or even a medium size win, i can use the lossing tickets to offset my win.  so , I  am  one of the ones that saves my tickets.  I know what your thinking :) and you are right,  I haven't won yet so, at the end of the year i throw them away and start over.  Too bad im in Georgia, that lawsuit would come in handy to me!   take care

                          Very Smart of you to save tickets.

                          you should never throw away a ticket, anything can happen. there are countless unclaimed prizes due to people failing to thoroughly check thier tickets. Also keep in mind that although misdraws are rare, they do indeed occur. I would hate to think that I threw away a winning ticket because I didn't verify the numbers. And as you cleverly stated before they also can be a tax deduction. With this economy the way it is, I will take the breaks wherever I can get them.

                          Also, I am in a pool at work so I save them. before I throw them out at the end of the year, I will give the guys in the pool a chance to see them if they wish. This is to ensure that I am indeed purchasing lottery tickets.

                          "know your limitations, but excede your expectations"