Scratch off tickets here in Pa have always been pretty straight forward and simple.
The newer $10.00 Lucky Shamrock ticket changed my thinking a couple months ago.
There are 3 play areas: A tic-tac-toe game at the top, a quick win box at the top
right side, a game in the middle and a find a leprechaun in the bottom play area.
It's the middle game I thought was awfully deceptive. Instead of a MATCH your
number to the play numbers, it's BEAT the play numbers.
Your #: 8 Play numbers: 9 10 15 7
On a ticket like this, you would win by beating the 7 with your 8.
Looks like a loser if you're looking to match an 8.
I think there's a tendency to assume certain things with these games. Many games
have been MATCH your number to the play numbers and WIN. Not BEAT the play
numbers. I was quite angry and felt almost hoodwinked by the PA Lottery when
I realized that some people were going to assume they had to look for a match.
It may be just me, but I thought that was a dirty trick.
Sure it was explained, in tiny print I might add, how to play. Always, always read
the game descriptions. I see many older folks sitting and examining their tickets and
can't help but wonder much the same thing you are thinking. Just how many have
been discarded because it is difficult to SEE or determine if you have a winner.
I do not remember another game like this for PA Instants. This game variation just
seemed underhanded to me. Sure, people would eventually catch on but...how many
winners were tossed in the meantime?
PA has added letters such as: B Q P Z J and so on to their NEW games. That is
a great verifying tool. You just need to rub the whole play area and find a letter. Used
to be that only parenthesis were used with the win amount in them. The letters above
mean no winner. S X V F T H N are winners. Sickening also to think that when they
initiated the letter system, people were most likely looking for parenthesis which
looked like this:
554435 (100.00) 4998832 <<< winner (old tickets)
3343545456564466 <<< no winner (old tickets)
New tickets overlapped the older tickets of course and new tickets looked like this:
34080279873849 <<< could be a winner, could be a loser
So people who were line scratchers - rubbing the number line only to see if it contained
a dollar amount - and did not see anything there were probably tossing winners too for
Time goes on, news gets out and around and now we know. Whatever was tossed/trashed
who will ever know?
Good rules of thumb:
Don't assume anything.
Get a magnifying glass if necessary.
Rub the whole play area.
And - yes - take it to the retailer. Watch them like a hawk too if you don't know them considering
the recent busts that have been in the news lately regarding clerks pocketing winners and telling
the ticket holder the ticket was a LOSER.