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[UPDATE] D.C. woman who tried to redeem faulty ticket admitted to forging second 'winner'

Topic closed. 29 replies. Last post 1 year ago by CSense.

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cbr$'s avatar - maren
United States
Member #104482
January 15, 2011
4900 Posts
Posted: September 10, 2015, 9:46 am - IP Logged

By Todd Northrop

A Washington, D.C. woman who enlisted the help of local media to try and claim a faulty Virginia Lottery scratch-off ticket actually tried to claim a second lottery ticket of the same exact game that she admitted was a forgery.

Lottery Post reported Wednesday morning that Ardella Newman of Washington, D.C. is taking the Virginia Lottery to task for denying her claim of a scratch-off ticket that she claims is worth $20,000.  The Virginia Lottery had issued a statement that the ticket was printed in error, and that further investigation was taking place.  (See D.C. woman's 'winning' scratch ticket voided, Lottery Post, Sep. 9, 2015.)

Now that investigation is complete, and the Virginia Lottery has issued an extensive explanation of the faulty lottery ticket, as well as a statement and photos of Newman's other claim attempt in which she tried to forge a winning lottery ticket from separate tickets.

The Virginia Lottery, in an apparent charitable move, has laid the blame for the faulty ticket reported Wednesday morning on the lottery vending machine.  "The tickets presented by Ms. Newman were valid tickets that were torn, apparently when they were dispensed from Lottery self-service machine," according to the Virginia Lottery statement.

A high-resolution photo of the ticket in question (shown below) appears to show that the top part of a scratch-off ticket was ripped off, and then below the perforation that attaches the next ticket on the roll, the top of the next ticket was ripped off right below the winning numbers.

Although the Virginia Lottery apparently blames the vending machine, some may conclude that the ticket appears to be ripped by hand at convenient locations.

In fact, the manner in which the ticket was ripped is nearly identical to the way that Newman attempted to tape together two pieces from separate game cards to claim an additional $52 prize.  (The front and back of the second taped-together 'winner' is presented below.)

"It was clear to our customer service representative and our investigators that this too was an altered ticket where someone attempted to tape together two parts of separate tickets to claim a prize," the Lottery said in their statement.  "Ms. Newman admitted to our Lottery investigator that she taped the two tickets together."

Newman may be in hot water, as the Virginia Lottery is continuing to review this second case to determine if additional actions are necessary.  According to Virginia law Newman may be facing a Class 6 felony, which in Virginia bears a prison sentence from 1 to 5 years and fines to a maximum of $2,500.

§ 58.1-4017. Alteration and forgery; presentation of counterfeit or altered ticket or share; penalty.

Any person who forges, alters or fraudulently makes any lottery ticket or share with intent to present for payment or to transfer to another person to be presented for payment or knowingly presents for payment or transfers to another person to be presented for payment such forged, altered or fraudulently made counterfeit lottery ticket or share sold pursuant to this chapter is guilty of a Class 6 felony.

Because the Virginia Lottery blamed the vending machine for the first faulty ticket, Newman would not face a forgery claim for that ticket.

The scratch game Newman played has specific rules governing defective tickets.  Had Newman returned the defective ticket to the store or to the Lottery unplayed, she would have received a full refund or replacement ticket. 

From the Virginia Lottery's Instant Game Lottery 1552 "5x The Money" Final Rules for Game Operation:

K.      Ticket Validation Requirements:

2. The Ticket must have been issued by the Lottery in an authorized manner. The Ticket must be intact and must not, in whole or in part, be defectively printed, produced in error, counterfeit, unreadable, incomplete, mis-registered, defective, torn, stolen, mutilated, altered, reconstituted, tampered with or previously paid.

The Lottery rules in turn have a specific provision regarding defective lottery tickets.

11VAC5-41-120. Replacement of Ticket.

If a misprinted or otherwise defective ticket is purchased, the agency's only liability or responsibility shall be to replace the misprinted ticket with an unplayed ticket of equal price from the same or another current game or to refund the purchase price of the defective ticket.


Lottery Post contacted the Virginia Lottery, which shed some additional light on the lottery's vending machines, and how a problem like this could occur.

As anyone who has purchased a scratch ticket from a store counter would see, scratch-off lottery tickets come on rolls, with perforations between each ticket.  When a player buys a scratch ticket, the clerk simply rips the scratch ticket along the perforation and hands it to the customer.

With an automated vending machine, the machine contains a device known as a "burster" which accomplishes the same task in an automated fashion.  This mechanism folds the ticket at the perforation and then "bursts" it where it was folded, causing the ticket to separate from the rest of the roll.

When the vending machine is loaded with a new roll of scratch-off tickets, the machine is configured with the length of each scratch ticket so it knows where to make the folds and burst the perforation.

The Virginia Lottery has confirmed that the vending machine that sold the faulty tickets was configured with the proper ticket length.

However, it is possible, although rare, for the vending machine to get out of alignment, causing the ticket to be folded and bursted at the wrong place on the ticket. This is apparently what happened with Ardella Newman's tickets when she purchased them in late August.

The lottery retailer reported that one other customer had the same problem with the vending machine, although that customer went to the retailer to remedy the problem rather than trying to piece together a winning ticket from parts of different tickets.

The store then made certain the machine was operating properly by re-aligning the burster, and no other problems have been reported with the machine since then.

The Virginia Lottery confirmed that the faulty tickets were definitely sold via the automated vending machine, since the retailer does not sell scratch tickets over the counter.  Also, because all lottery tickets are tracked by serial number to the retailers that sell them, the Lottery is certain about which retailer sold the tickets.

News story photo(Click to display full-size in gallery)

News story photo(Click to display full-size in gallery)

News story photo(Click to display full-size in gallery)

If you play scratch off enough you realize the number code on the front of the ticket match the code on the back. If she had been a regular buyer of tickets from one local retailer 95% of the time. If it really get messed up in the vending machine. All the other ticket on that roll such have been ruin as well. It would line up right. This is the kind of thing you tell the retailer  right away. There would been more complains.

    CDanaT's avatar - tiger avatar_04_hd_pictures_169016.jpg
    United States
    Member #121193
    January 4, 2012
    1637 Posts
    Posted: September 10, 2015, 9:59 am - IP Logged

    Good Job Ardella...proud of ya...from Washington D.C. AND you are trying to steal and cheat. You fit in quite nicely with our elected leaders working close by. Have any relatives that work security in Idaho by chance ?

      Lynn-Lynn's avatar - yocco
      Kansas city Mo
      United States
      Member #133405
      September 29, 2012
      49 Posts
      Posted: September 10, 2015, 10:45 am - IP Logged

      So i guess no one will play that game. If they have defaulting  tickets

        Scratch$'s avatar - sm lottery.jpg

        United States
        Member #158848
        September 5, 2014
        294 Posts
        Posted: September 10, 2015, 12:14 pm - IP Logged

        more than likely the lottery commission could charge her with fraud ...smh..

        The appropriate legal authorities in D.C. would have to do that.

        Scratchers ~ Cash 5 ~ Powerball ~ Mega Millions

          DEE88's avatar - animal doggy2.jpg
          United States
          Member #69849
          January 18, 2009
          14854 Posts
          Posted: September 10, 2015, 1:24 pm - IP Logged

          Told you she was trying to pull a fast one.

          Unless all the employees were new hires and their first day on the job was 

          when this airhead tried to present and have her mangled ticket processed, there 

          was no way she was owed any money. Clearly it was 2 different tickets. The IVM's 

          need to be set when refilling a slot..there are different sizes in inches of instants.

          If a pack of $20's is loaded and the machine isn't set to cut that size, you'll wind 

          up with part of a ticket or with a piece of another attached right below the perforation

          that separates each ticket. It makes a jagged cut when it dispenses at the improperly 

          entered size. I've seen it many times in PA. 

          If I were as stupid as this lady, I would have attempted to convince examiners I was due

          $5, $10, $50k with 1/5th of one ticket and 4/5ths of another.


          Now time to face the music.

                   Yep.....I Agree!   after seeing the pictures of the tickets there is no doubt she was in the wrong...

                 2079    1085   8841    7227   3305   4651

            Todd's avatar - Cylon 2.gif
            Chief Bottle Washer
            New Jersey
            United States
            Member #1
            May 31, 2000
            23262 Posts
            Posted: September 10, 2015, 4:54 pm - IP Logged

            The news story has been updated with additional information from the Virginia Lottery.  Interesting stuff about how lottery vending machines work!


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


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

              HoLeeKau's avatar - YheaShea
              United States
              Member #94283
              July 17, 2010
              2284 Posts
              Posted: September 10, 2015, 5:21 pm - IP Logged

              Didn't know about the bursters.  I assumed the tickets were detached before being loaded into the machine.

                CDanaT's avatar - tiger avatar_04_hd_pictures_169016.jpg
                United States
                Member #121193
                January 4, 2012
                1637 Posts
                Posted: September 10, 2015, 5:24 pm - IP Logged

                The news story has been updated with additional information from the Virginia Lottery.  Interesting stuff about how lottery vending machines work!

                Thanks for the update. Glad the additional info shed light onto the incident. I still have reservations about trying to turn a ticket like that in for collection.       

                No No

                  United States
                  Member #23835
                  October 16, 2005
                  3474 Posts
                  Posted: September 11, 2015, 1:53 am - IP Logged

                  "Any Lottery Post reader would know this kind of thing never works."

                  Anybody who's not a moron should know that kind of thing won't work. Even if you're not smart enough to figure out that the barcode might contain important information how stupid would you have to be to think nobody will notice the very obvious mismatch where different numbers have been taped together?

                  "I assumed the tickets were detached before being loaded into the machine."

                  I'd have assumed that the machine uses exactly the same rolls that are used in convenience stores, etc, and that the machine cuts them at the time of sale. Loading individual tickets would still require some method of cutting them from a roll, and letting the machine do it seems like the logical method. It's very simialr to the process used for online games, where a blank roll is loaded, and the individual tickets are cut to length as necessary. The difference is that online games  have tickets of variable length since the games and number of lines played varies.

                  Even if the machine was loaded with individual tickets the perforation should make it extremely obvious that there are parts of two different tickets.

                    Funtimz's avatar - Lottery-022.jpg

                    United States
                    Member #165244
                    March 30, 2015
                    227 Posts
                    Posted: September 11, 2015, 4:39 am - IP Logged

                    This is going to really make me re-think buying any scratch offs from a vending machine.  I had an issue before with claiming a prize, where I almost lost it due to the machine not being able to print me another ticket, since i was going to just use the winning funds to play again. 

                    But at the same time this store I used to go if I wanted to buy a scratch off from the counter, the grumpy clerk there would ALWAYS remind me I can buy them from the machine. Even when I went with a $20 bill or so and only wanted to spend $5-10, since the machines don't give change. So I stopped going there after a while.

                    Take Risks: If you win, you'll be happy.  If you lose, you will be wiser...

                      Wyomissing, PA
                      United States
                      Member #161050
                      November 15, 2014
                      301 Posts
                      Posted: September 11, 2015, 10:11 am - IP Logged

                      With all the fancy technology these days, one would assume the length setting is automatic. But even if the length setting is correct, the alignment can still be a problem, as the article points out (and have personally observed, though is extremely rare to see at the self-service dispensers I regularly visit)...

                      However, there's a simple old-school tech solution, which was utilized in PA, and likely other lotteries too, decades ago - a series of black bars pre-printed on the ticket to delineate the start / end. Such bars were utilized for PA terminal game tickets through the 1980s to ensure an accurate cut; used to be printed on thicker stock and featured various colorful PA related scenes.

                      Fast play instant tickets (PA doesn't offer any, but some states, such as NJ, do) printed by the terminal eliminates the length setting problem, but come with other hazards, in particular, the terminal operator not handing over a winning ticket (legally, this is tricky, because terminal operators are not lottery employees; most anyone can operate a machine and are allowed to buy themselves). Some fast play instant games are easy to spot as winners nearly immediately. I mention this, since ironically, self-service terminals, while problematic in many instances, are the better, safer alternative when playing fast play instants.

                        United States
                        Member #23835
                        October 16, 2005
                        3474 Posts
                        Posted: September 11, 2015, 12:42 pm - IP Logged

                        "a series of black bars pre-printed on the ticket to delineate the start / end."

                        That's a simple concept but implementation probably isn't quite as simple. Each roll of tickets needs it's own dispensing unit, and cutting based on the position of the bars would mean that each dispenser needs to have an optical scanner. All the other stuff required to dispense and cut the tickets would still be required. Simple advancing the roll a specific distance and then cutting the ticket is probably as simple as it gets, and fairly fool proof. Mistakes are always going to be possible, but they seem to be uncommon enough to be a problem that doesn't need a new solution.

                          dr65's avatar - black panther.jpg
                          United States
                          Member #74096
                          May 2, 2009
                          22897 Posts
                          Posted: September 11, 2015, 1:13 pm - IP Logged

                          One problem I have with the updated story.

                          The sentence.....it is possible, although rare....

                          The IVM's malfunction quite often....whether due to tickets not dispensing, cutting improperly or short changing you.

                          There are 2 varieties in my area....one is a machine that holds just instant tickets and one is a machine that is bigger

                          and you can play jackpot games, daily number games, get quick picks/choose your own numbers and buy instant tickets

                          from this type.

                          Both are faulty sometimes...cutting wrong, calculating wrong and not dispensing properly.

                          I've had tons of problems with both of them...mind you, I play a lot and I recognize more that the problems are there.

                          When there is a problem it's an eye roller and a head smacker because I HATE GETTING AN IMPROPERLY CUT TICKET.

                          My thoughts on those are that the lottery can deny any prize - the retailers usually will not BUT if it's a claim ticket, I

                          would not like to take the chance with that. I'm sure they'd deny it in a hurry stating the ticket was tampered with,

                          not up to lottery standards or just null and void due to any of the reasons they can offer.

                          Oh and to comment on the *trained* status of IVM operators...which implies they are educated and above the rest

                          when it comes to handling these machines.....most are just regular counter clerks, store managers, cashiers, etc.

                          I've heard many curses thrown at the IVM's.....many comments of I just don't know and saw a few just throw their

                          hands up and put an out of order sign on the machine. Most of us here could probably pass for 'trained', there is

                          no special skill needed to fill a machine. Teach it once, most people get it. It's the ones who put a $20 ticket in a $5

                          slot that need to be kept away from the machines. I wonder if they were trained too?

                          Sad story. Not in an emotional kind of way...just in a disappointing kind of way.

                          246 ~~ 485 ~~ 369 ~~ 890 ~~ 705 ~~ 357 ~~ 129 ~~ 165 ~  007 ~ 225 ~ 818 ~ 440 ~  7775 5557

                            Get paid's avatar - Lottery-062.jpg
                            United States
                            Member #152324
                            February 11, 2014
                            168 Posts
                            Posted: September 14, 2015, 4:08 pm - IP Logged

                            Ardella you played yourself.

                              CSense's avatar - villiarna
                              New Member
                              East Coast
                              United States
                              Member #168062
                              August 15, 2015
                              25 Posts
                              Posted: September 17, 2015, 12:31 pm - IP Logged

                              The sad part about this is that she actually showed her ugly face to the public, knowing fully well that she is a total fraud. Goodluck to the next person who has a disputed legitimate claim with the lottery gods. They now have a poster boy{girl}, to throw in your face. What a dumbass.

                              Exactly, she must have thought she was a genius so would get away with it. She is definitely a con artist........a really dumb one.Jester Laugh

                              Always pay forward, it's a good start in life that make everybody happy.