More than two million state lottery scratch tickets will have to be replaced because they have a "shelf life" problem. If they sit around too long, the latex in the scratching area deteriorates and may become unscratchable.
The problems with the $200,000 Bonus game tickets have prompted Treasurer Timothy Cahill to order an overhaul of the Massachusetts State Lotterys procedures for handling ticket glitches, according to a published report Monday.
"We expect flaws. Its part of the industry," said Lottery executive director Joseph C. Sullivan. "But we dont accept them."
Officials said that about 2.2 million of the $5 tickets will be shipped to the manufacturer and replaced with exact replicas within the next two weeks.
The reprinting will not affect the games odds, nor increase or decrease the number of winning tickets, officials told the newspaper.
An official at Scientific Games, which makes the tickets, said no tax money would be spent to correct the problem.
"It doesnt happen regularly, but it does happen occasionally," said Jim Kennedy, the companys vice president of North American sales and marketing. "We found its better just to go in and replace that inventory."
Another 2.4 million tickets will remain in circulation and cant be recalled because the ticket "books" have already been opened and partially sold.
Officials said that if anyone buys a defective ticket, they can take it to the Lottery and have the bar code scanned. Winners will be honored and losers will be given another ticket of equal value.
Lottery officials admitted knowing about the problem since July, but they didnt tell the public until recently, the newspaper said. Dissatisfied customers have returned 415 of the tickets to the Lotterys headquarters during the past few months.
Sullivan said that the Lotterys 7,300 agents would be notified and a notice posted on the lottery Web site.
It was reported earlier that 10,000 tickets in the $640 Million Jubilee game were found to be potentially defective due to a manufacturing error. Lottery officials decided to leave 9,000 of those tickets in circulation.