If you play NYS lotto scratch off's, than you need to read this information. If you play other states instant scratch off games you may want to question that states policy, as I have done with NYS lotto.
First off, it took me a very long time to get this answer. I had sent numerous letters from my friend and I under the freedom of information act to get my questions answered. I had to finally go on a major letter writing campaign and literally write to every single NYS Assemblyman and Senator to finally have my questions answered. NYS lotto responded by sending a letter to every single Assemblyman and Senator pretty much calling me a pain in the ass but was forced to answer my questions. Here goes:
NYS lotto distributes books of scratch off's to any retailer that gets a NYS lotto Lic. to sell Lotto products. Some retailers that have very large volume may get a larger quantity of books and have them displayed. I started to see a lot of retailers closing or selling their business in the last few years. More than usual I have to admit and I wanted to know what happens to the opened books of scratch off's. When I first asked this question to Lotto they answered it by using examples of unopened books of scratch off's. This was not my question but they thought I would go away if they just answered in riddles rather than give me a straight answer.
So when I went on my writing campaign I again asked what happens to all the OPENED books of scratch off's that are not sold after the store goes out of business or sells their business, (when a business sells they have to give up their lotto lic and the new owners have to reapply and all these books are destroyed) I was finally told the truth. The unopened books go back to NYS lotto and redistributed to the retailers, at least that is what they told me. But what really concerned me was what happens to the opened books of scratch off's. IF a retailer is very big and for example they have 10 opened books of "Set for Life" in their bins opened and selling they ALL get destroyed.
Now this may not be a big issue for some people but here in NY, when retailers open and close or sell every day it starts to add up. Thousands of scratch off tickets are getting destroyed and if they have winning tickets we will never know nor will anyone ever win that prize. If a scratch off has 3 top prizes and the retailer that went out of business or sells, had that ticket in their stock now that winning ticket gets destroyed and there are only 2 top prizes available and if those 2 tops prizes get claimed that game will continue to sell because they are waiting for the final remaining top prize to get claimed but it can't get claimed because it got destroyed and so NYS Lotto gets to sell that game to the public with the idea that there is still 1 more top prize left but that particular top prize was destroyed when the retailer went out of business or sold so it can never be claimed, This is really unfair when you start to think about it.
Technically Lotto has to stop selling a game when all top prizes are claimed. But if retailers that go out of business or sell have their opened books destroyed, we the public will keep buying that particular game thinking there is still another prize left, but in reality it was destroyed and we are really buying on false hopes.
I asked lotto why this policy is in place. They would not answer my question. I asked why opened books cannot be put back into another retailer or even better why lotto themselves do not sell the opened books of scratch off's that otherwise would not be sold, or put them into their machines, so that we have a fair chance of buying these books, they told me it was too much work. I really believe that this is how NYS makes more money and deceives the public legally and they can keep selling these games until whenever they want to whether there is a top prize available or not, unless all the top prizes are truly claimed. This is really unfair. Especially when someone like me played regularly and loved to play, until I found out recently about this little dirty secret.
In NY, where real estate is climbing to record heights in rents, stores cannot stay in business anymore. So Lotto is making a fortune by being able to destroy thousands of scratch off's a month and they deceive us into thinking there is still a winner left, when in fact, it was destroyed because of this stupid policy.
I think that people need to question this policy and ask for changes in the law so that we have a fair advantage in winning. If more people start asking questions they will be forced to admit that this gives an unfair disadvantage to the public and they get to destroy tickets. (For example, there is a store on Liberty Ave in Richmond Hill, that has 10 books opened for the top 5 selling games and than has 3 books opened for the rest of all the scratch off games. That starts to calculate into thousands of books in that one store when he either goes out of business or sells his business.
I want to know what other lotto players think about this law and I want to know if there is enough people that do not like this policy for me to go further with this dirty secret. I would like to know if you find this a major hindrance into your buying these scratch off's now that you know this secret. Some games have been going on for very long times with the same amount of top prizes left and I wonder of they got destroyed and just keep selling the game until they sell out all the tickets that were printed. This really does leave a lot of room for corruption not in stealing but in selling a game with the idea that the top prize is out there when in reality it probably got destroyed when a business went out or sold its business.
Do you think this is a problem in the system and should it be changed? I want to know what people think. Thank you for your time and I am sorry I went on too long but I wanted to make sure that you understood the problem in the best way I could explain it so that there was no confusion in this whole concept.
Sam-Ozone Park Queens.