Big letdown for North Carolina lottery "winner" when barcode proves false win

May 2, 2022, 11:54 am (28 comments)

North Carolina Lottery

By Kate Northrop

STATESVILLE, N.C. — A Florida trucker experienced the letdown of his life after his suspicion of a big win was proven wrong by the barcode on his lottery ticket.

Florida resident James Kinard was sure the lottery ticket he bought while passing through North Carolina was a winner, but the good feeling came crashing to a halt when the barcode on the ticket proved it was a false win.

While making a stop in Statesville, Kinard decided to play the North Carolina Lottery's 50X Multiplier game from the family of Fast Play progressive games. Fast Play games are similar to scratch-off games in that the player can find out whether they won immediately after purchase by looking at the winning numbers printed on the ticket or just by scanning the barcode.

"I didn't look at my ticket then and there," Kinard told CBS 17. He tucked the ticket safely away and spent a couple more days on the road before pulling it out again to check it.

That's when he noticed that one of his numbers, "3," appeared to match the "3" under the list of possible winning numbers printed on the ticket.

"I got happy and said 'Hey, hey, hey... thank God... Hey, hey, hey," he recalled as his excitement grew.

Like any lottery winner, Kinard began rationalizing the "win" to figure out for certain how much money he had won.

"I see there was $500 under the '3,'" Kinard recalled. "It's a 50 times multiplier so by my calculations that's $25,000."

Things started to go awry when he tried to check the ticket at a retailer. The clerk he handed the ticket to scanned the ticket, but the barcode brought back a disappointing message.

"[The clerk] looks at it and says, 'hmm — that's supposed to be a winner, but it's not scanning as a winner."

Kinard brought it to the attention of the Asheville lottery office, who in turn kept the original ticket to investigate the matter and gave him a copy of the ticket.

"They told me they did a reconstruct of the ticket and can't tell whether there is supposed to be a number in front of the '3,'" he explained.

Interestingly, Kinard says he recalled that the retailer he originally bought the ticket from in Statesville had issues with printing tickets and had to change printer rolls.

According to Kinard, the ticket wasn't torn or compromised, but there was a mysterious black mark running down the entire length of the ticket on the left edge.

"That's something in the printer," he said. "It wasn't ripped or damaged at all."

Lottery spokesman Van Denton offered a written explanation to CBS 17 to clear the air about what happened.

"The black line that unfortunately runs down the side of the ticket obscures the first winning number and makes it appear as a '3,'" Denton wrote. "However, the Lottery knows this is not a winning ticket because when it scans the bar code, the gaming system shows it as a non-winning ticket. Despite the printing issue, if this ticket had a prize on it, that would be confirmed by scanning the bar code."

What Denton is describing can be illustrated by the obstruction of words in the "WINNING NUMBERS" and "HOW TO WIN" sections of the ticket. The "W" in "WINNING NUMBERS" is smudged to look like a "V'," while the "n" in "number" is completely erased.

"All of these anomalies occur in direct alignment with where the leading digit before the '3' would be, indicating that the 'Winning Number' is not actually a '3,'" Denton continued.

It is not totally clear what the digit in front of the "3" is, but it there appears to be missing digit nonetheless.

"We regret that the printing issue created the impression of a winning ticket when it was not," Denton said. "The Lottery would gladly pay Mr. Kinard a prize if the review had determined it was a legitimate winning ticket."

Unfortunately, that is where Kinard's roller coaster of a "win" comes to an end.

According to the Lottery, there have been instances in the past where they have paid out winnings on damaged tickets.

"It is not uncommon for players to present tickets to the Lottery that have been damaged," Denton clarified. "We perform about 30 such reviews a month and when tickets have been damaged we can do a reconstruction. If we can determine a ticket is a winner, we pay the prize. Ticket reconstructions have paid prizes ranging from $1 to $1 million."

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

Thanks to rdgrnr for the tip.

Lottery Post Staff

Comments

Tony Numbers's avatarTony Numbers

SHENANIGANS!!!!!!!

andl's avatarandl

Looks like a "13" to me. Not a winner.

cottoneyedjoe's avatarcottoneyedjoe

Quote: Originally posted by andl on May 2, 2022

Looks like a "13" to me. Not a winner.

I agree it looks like a misprint 13. And if the lottery says it's not a 3 then 13 is the only other number it could be because they're printed in numerical order.

It's a big let down, but nobody's fault here.

noise-gate

Quote: Originally posted by andl on May 2, 2022

Looks like a "13" to me. Not a winner.

* A " 13" really? All the other numbers are " close together " & no guessing involved. If the first number was " 13" the " 1" In front of the "3" should be visible & right up there with the "3"- don't you think?

grwurston's avatargrwurston

That's definitely a 3 by itself. Look at the other numbers and see how close they are to each other. There's too big of a space between the 3 and the smudge for another number to be there.  He got gypped.

Tony Numbers's avatarTony Numbers

Quote: Originally posted by grwurston on May 2, 2022

That's definitely a 3 by itself. Look at the other numbers and see how close they are to each other. There's too big of a space between the 3 and the smudge for another number to be there.  He got gypped.

Absolutely, I looked at it with a magnifying glass, and the 3 stands alone. I think he has a winning ticket, and their excuse is questionable because the black line disrupted the bar code and it isn't scanning as a winning ticket.

Artist77's avatarArtist77

It is a 3. Look at the spacing of the other numbers. Add this to my long list of reasons for not playing scratchers.

DEE88's avatarDEE88

Quote: Originally posted by Tony Numbers on May 2, 2022

Absolutely, I looked at it with a magnifying glass, and the 3 stands alone. I think he has a winning ticket, and their excuse is questionable because the black line disrupted the bar code and it isn't scanning as a winning ticket.

        I Agree!      I did the same thing with the magnifying glass and it stands alone.. It stands out very clearly that it is a 3 alone..  Give the man his MONEY!!!.. It's not like he won a Million Dollars.!!!!!

lucky1day

Font spacing shows it's clearly a 3. The greedy criminals never quit! Time to get a lawyer.

Stat$talker's avatarStat$talker

Quote: Originally posted by lucky1day on May 2, 2022

Font spacing shows it's clearly a 3. The greedy criminals never quit! Time to get a lawyer.

I Agree!

Stack47

"the player can find out whether they won immediately after purchase by looking at the winning numbers printed on the ticket or just by scanning the barcode."

Some instant ticket players just scratch where the bar code is and scan the ticket. Not unusual to see several tickets unscratched tickets and Fastplay tickets on counters where the play slips are located near a kiosk.

"Interestingly, Kinard says he recalled that the retailer he originally bought the ticket from in Statesville had issues with printing tickets and had to change printer rolls."

The dark line looks like tickets printed from the end of a roll. The "$" to the "10" above where is says "$10 GAME PAYS" is visible. Knowing about the printing issue, Kinard should have looked at his ticket "then and there". Instantly knowing whether the ticket won or not is how the Fastplay games are designed. That doesn't change the fact it does look like a "3" regardless when the ticket was checked. 

"The black line that unfortunately runs down the side of the ticket obscures the first winning number and makes it appear as a '3,'"

The story doesn't show the entire ticket; maybe part of the bar code was obscured too?

TheMeatman2005's avatarTheMeatman2005

OP Stack47 "The black line that unfortunately runs down the side of the ticket obscures the first winning number and makes it appear as a '3,'"

The story doesn't show the entire ticket; maybe part of the bar code was obscured too?

I was just thinking that too.

A bar code reader would not show it was a winning ticket if the "BLACK LINE" made the ticket reader interpret the bar code as one from a non-winning ticket.

rcbbuckeye's avatarrcbbuckeye

A somewhat similar thing happened to me last week when I printed a PB ticket for a customer. I had change the roll of lottery paper in the printer, but forgot to pull it out far enough so the tape that held the end of the roll would be out of the way when I printed a ticket. I had even printed a Cash 5 ticket for myself and it came out fine. Well, when I ran the customer's ticket the barcode was printed right where the tape was which had it's own barcode. I knew wouldn't scan (I tried it) so I ended up printing another ticket. 

Our lottery rep came a while later and said that barcode is how a ticket is determined if it's a winner or not, ie; that barcode is THE way. I was busy and didn't have time to ask, but I suppose if the numbers were shown to be winners, the player could take the ticket to a claim center to have it validated (assuming it would be a small prize payable by a retailer). I didn't want to take that chance, plus it would be a hassle for the player to go to Fort Worth or Dallas to collect a smaller prize.

poolshooter4

clearly there is enough evidence for a case for mental anguish/pain & suffering ( if ever there was ).....

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