... The Fun 5's Ticket...
A Texas Lottery Scratch Off
... Fun 5's Update #1 ...
Postings from October 3 through Dec 9, 2014
$248 $450 Million Lottery Lawsuit
Has Been Filed Against G-Tech
brought to you by
The Lotto Report
Current Fun 5's Update Page, click here
Fun 5's Update #3 Jan 26, 2016 - Dec 11, 2016 ... Click here
Fun 5's Update #2 Jan 29, 2015 - Dec 7, 2015 ... Click here
Fun 5's Update #1 Oct 3, 2014 - Dec 9, 2014 ... Shown below ...
Fun 5's Scratch Ticket
Mark Lanier (Steele Appeal)
Peter Kelley (Nettles Appeal)
Editorial & Opinions by Dawn Nettles
12/09/14 - 9:35 PM - If your name is not on the list of people named in the lawsuit, contact the attorneys. NOT ME.
Sorry for the interruption to my posting, but I'm trying to take care of an over abundance of emails since posting it at 4 pm this afternoon! Thanks to many of you who wrote such nice things to me. Messages like those keep me going. Now keep reading for the latest news ...
WOW - what news this is.
Click here to see the Petition filed in Travis County District Court
It is time for us to move on - no more being nice and patient in hopes that our elected officials will take action for us. I have accepted - in my mind - the legal cost involved ... personally, I'd much rather have half my winnings than none at all and I think this is the only way we will see our prize money. Lawyers. Short and simple, lawyers to fight our case for us with a judge and a jury consisting of 12 of our peers.
I have also accepted the fact that our elected officials will NOT do the right thing - they will not instruct the Texas Lottery to pay these claims then let the lottery deal with G-Tech. I hope all lottery players remember this in two years when you go to vote. Ask your elected official - is his job to protect you first and foremost or screw you if it hurts the state?
Just so that you know ...
One legislator told me that the Texas Lottery was "confident" that they would not have to fund these prizes - I don't think the lottery's confidence comes from the "legal sense" - rather - I think the lottery's confidence comes from successfully blaming G-Tech.
I did make an open records request to obtain copies of the communications between the elected officials and the Texas Lottery but the Texas Lottery filed for an AG Opinion to keep the info confidential. Another red flag. They sent me a few but not what they really had.
One communication angered me and it actually told me what was really going on - it was between Ms. Katherine Munal, (Representative Scott Sanford staffer) and a Texas Lottery employee regarding a player who had asked for help in collecting her winnings from her Fun 5's ticket. They staffer arranged for her to talk - via a conference call - to "executives" at the Texas Lottery. The player requested to have me on the phone when she talked to them.
Ms. Munal initially agreed. When the player called me to set a time, I told her the Texas Lottery would never permit me to be on the phone with a player and the staffer. But the player was adamant that it would take place. Well, sure enough, the call was made but suddenly the staffer refused to allow me to be included in the call telling the player that it was her decision - NOT the decision of the Texas Lottery. She lied.
Note her remark about the "watchdog?" She's referring to me. If it was her decision in the beginning to not have me involved in the call, then needless to say, there would have been no need to have made the remark she did in her email to the Texas Lottery. It appears this woman lied to both her constituent and to me.
I suggested the player make an open records request from Sanford's office which she did. Ms. Lowther's written open records request said in part, "I would like to receive a copy of all letters, faxes, emails, phone records your office has received from anyone regarding the Texas Lottery Fun 5's scratch ticket. .... Additionally, I would like to receive copies of any/all correspondence your office has had with the Texas Lottery. Please include your writings/communications to the TLC as well as their response to you." (I would have scanned her request in for you but my copies are too light to scan)
After seeing what they sent the player, it would be my opinion that Sanford's office is in violation of the Open Records laws as the player did not get a copy of the emails I possess nor other communications that I have been led to believe they have received with regards to the Fun 5's tickets. Ms. Lowther received a copy of her original letter to them, copies of her Fun 5's tickets that she sent them and a contact profile report in her name. Yet Representative Sanford wrote ....
Under "status" on Lowther's contact profile report, Sanfords office checked, "closed."
I would recommend that this player [Lowther] file a complaint with the Open Records division of the AG's office. Maybe then she could obtain all documents responsive to her original request.
So for you players that told me you wrote to Representative Sanford, apparently they/he did not receive your letters. And if any of you want to know what your State Rep's and Senators received, you can make the same request Ms. Lowther made to her elected official. You might be surprised at what you will learn by seeing these documents! If you do this, be sure to tell them that they "may redact personal information."
Now about the lawsuit filed in Travis County ... the good news is that it appears G-Tech is the guilty party ...
FYI - Unless something has changed, the Texas Lottery has NO way of auditing ticket validations as Mr. Grief put a halt to the Texas Lottery receiving copies of the encrypted files many years ago. In the olden days, Security would check validations after games closed and the 180 days to collect had passed. This WAS the lottery's way of ensuring honesty and integrity by all parties. Texas Lottery Security used these files to verify tickets had paid correctly - in other words, the TX Lottery was verifying that G-Tech [employees] had not altered the files.
In moving forward to take legal action, you have several options...
G-Tech's address is: Corporation Service Company, 211 E. 7th Street, Suite 620, Austin, TX 78701;
Examples: Typical "multiplier" language found on Texas Lottery scratch tickets.
3) or finally, you can join in on the "Mass Action" lawsuit that was filed today. Just contact Manfred Sternberg and Richard LaGarde. They are the ones who filed the $248 million Mass Action suit. For many of you, this is probably your best avenue but the choice is yours to make.
For those of you who asked me to send your personal information to my attorney when the time comes, I have NOT done that. Actually I would prefer that you contact them yourself - this needs to be your decision and I really don't want to influence any of you. (email link in paragraph above)
As all of you already know, I have retained Manfred Sternberg and Richard LaGarde to represent me. Win or lose, we'll at least have tried to collect our winnings by showing a Judge and jury how G-Tech operates the Texas Lottery. And we have plenty to show regarding treatment of winners and designing trick and deceptive scratch tickets and costly online games.
If any of you would like to see and talk to the Texas Lottery staff and commissioners ...
I will keep you posted as to what's going on during the legal process. For those of you who choose to retain your own attorney's - please keep me posted too. If any of you file in small claims court, let me know. I'd love to know how that comes out and/or I'd love to be present in court with you.
11/17/14 - Let me explain what took place last week so you can all understand. We filed a petition with the court - it was called a Rule 202 Petition. The reason a person files a "Rule 202" is to try to find out who the guilty party is - by asking questions - called a "deposition." One does this so they can determine who to sue. This hearing was NOT to collect your prize money or my prize money. It was the first step with many more to come.
In this case, we filed a Rule 202 Petition against the Texas Lottery and G-Tech as we believed that between those two entities, we could determine who was responsible for producing the Fun 5's ticket - a ticket that does not comply with the rule and is not validating at face value for consumers.
When we filed our petition, then both G-Tech and the Texas Lottery filed responses opposing our request. This is to be expected - it's the way things work in our judicial world.
G-Tech's response, was exactly what I would expect them to say in opposition. Their filing did not hurt my feelings in any way. You can read the response if you want ... in essence though it says they oppose our Rule 202 Petition because I am a reporter who writes negative things about the Texas Lottery on my website and I was looking for a story.
It is true that I am a reporter and I do run a lottery web site but I ONLY write what's TRUE. I am not responsible for the actions of G-Tech and the Texas Lottery - I only report what they do. It was not my fault that G-Tech provided "questionable documents" (comments) in favor of making Lotto Texas harder to win by going to a 6/54 matrix.
It is not my fault that G-Tech testified one way one month then came back a month later to re-clarify their testimony. This was due to the forensic findings I submitted regarding the written comments G-Tech submitted to the Texas Lottery Commission in favor of adopting the Lotto rule that "real" players opposed.
G-Tech was darned lucky that the TLC did not file a complaint with the Public Integrity Unit like they did me for alleged perjury. Of course, the DA found out real fast I was telling the truth but I'm not sure how the DA would have ruled in the G-Tech testimony.
It was not my fault that the President of G-Tech, Larry King, was immediately re-located out of Texas after this incident. Guess it's hard to prosecute someone who is out of state.
It's not my fault that the TLC's checking account was not balanced for 5 years. It's not my fault the TLC lost money to fraudulent activity because they didn't catch it by reconciling their account. It is not my fault that Mr. Grief failed to comply with Govt. Code 321.022 in reporting suspected fraud. It is not my fault the TLC kept prize money that was supposed to be turned over to the Comptroller. It's not my fault they lost $2 million dollars that's unaccounted for. I wonder why they didn't audit one other area where - I suspect - the money could have disappeared from. Why didn't they do a "complete" audit?
It's not my fault that the audit report was actually completed in one year but not released for another year and with MASSIVE changes to it.
It's not my fault the TLC inflated a jackpot they could not fund. It's not my fault they design and play games destined to fail that could be expensive for the state in the long run. It's not my fault that retailers/clerks may be taking advantage of players and may be going after the TLC right now with their Fun 5's tickets. I tried to prevent these things when I submitted my Sunset recommendations.
It's not my fault the Governor appointed an admitted tax evader to Chair a $4 billion agency.
It's not my fault they started a new game that was <$22.3> million short to fund the first group of winners.
I just report these FACTS of TRUTH. I'm just the messenger ... Yet they tell the courts I write negative things and am looking for a "story" and this is why I filed a Rule 202 petition. As if I needed another story ... <huge grin> I've got so many right now I can't even get to all of them!
Hey - G-Tech & TLC - I want my prize money and so do many other folks. Pay us what our tickets say we have coming. If you paid the face value of my tickets, I wouldn't have a story. Now would I? And the hundreds or thousands of unhappy players wouldn't be complaining and seeking legal counsel would they? And lawyers state wide would not be reviewing these tickets and concluding the same things both I and the players have concluded the language says. Now would they?
FYI - G-Tech also plays a major role in the development of the games - such as the All or Nothing. Did you know that there was a huge flaw in that game and the state of Texas faced a $50 million to $100 million liability 4 times per day for the first 9 months the game was being played?
I wonder if G-Tech was penalized (liquidated damages) for the TLC shutting the game down while they fixed the flaw that shouldn't have been there. I also wonder if G-Tech has been charged with liquidated damages for the Fun 5 tickets too?
Speaking of messenger - I think it's time for me to post Part 9 of my 10 part story. I think the contents of what the messenger has to say could be important about right now with where we are with our lottery issues. Seeing first hand how they work should be of interest to all of you and our elected officials.
OK. Let's move on to the Attorney General's response filed on behalf of the Texas Lottery. I won't lie ... this one angered me terribly. It took me two days to calm down after I read it. The reason's will blow you away ... They claimed the court could not hear this case because the court did not have jurisdiction to hear it. After all, they told the court, the TLC is protected by Sovereign Immunity.
In essence, Attorney General Gregg Abbott's office, said - "Hey Judge, I don't care if the TLC has sold deceptive tickets to unsuspecting consumers, they still can't sue us because the Texas Lottery is protected by Sovereign Immunity. The Lottery CAN collect all that money and not honor the written words found on their lottery products and there is nothing Nettles or you can do about it. And further Judge, because we have this protection, you can't hear this case either. You have to dismiss it."
I was fuming when I read the AG's response to the Court. However, a few days later when I read my attorney's response to the Attorney's General response, I felt much better.
So you see, by the time we made it to court last Thursday, Nov 13, we had two issues before the court. Needless to say, the Judge dealt with the AG's request first.
Now understand, what I am about to say was my interpretation of what I saw and heard ... but I think the Judge was as angry as I was regarding the AG telling his court that he couldn't hear this case.
After hearing and considering previous cases regarding the jurisdiction issue - the Judge rendered his decision ... Again - do understand - what I'm going to write here was not his exact words - I'm paraphrasing what he said. In essence, he said ... "Look Dude, I DO have jurisdiction to hear this case and that's exactly what I'm going to do. Your request is denied. BUT, if it makes you feel better, you don't have to worry because I have only ONCE before granted a Rule 202 and I won't do it today either."
There was no consideration given to our Rule 202 Petition by this court. This Judge made it very clear that he does not grant Rule 202's. We will have to file lawsuits before we can depose them.
So, bottom line, we won one issue but lost on the Rule 202. But you know what, the Judge said something that made me realize it was probably in our best interest not to depose them before filing a lawsuit so I'm actually pleased with the ruling. If it had been granted, we would have been delayed in moving forward. Now we're not delayed.
I am a firm believer that everything happens for a reason.
This next week I am going to make some calls to find out what the Committees are doing, thinking or what is happening. If the state (our elected officials) plan to make us file lawsuits in an attempt to collect our winnings, then that's what we'll have to do.
Right now, sit tight to see what our elected officials are going to do. It was implied to me that serious consideration would be given to this issue by our elected officials.
Also, let's not forget, the DA of Travis County is investigating - we need to find out what's happening there too before we give up on collecting our monies the rightful way.
Since my posting is my only way to communicate this ... then I want to thank those of you who have provided special info to me recently. I truly appreciate it and have already passed it on to those who need the data. Thank you - I am listening and welcome more information. OK??
11/06/14 - - Just wanted to let you all know that our hearing date has changed to Nov 13, 2014 at 2 pm. For those of you who are expecting an update on the 12th, it won't be here.
11/04/14 - 5:45 PM - Sorry again for not posting sooner. I finally received the information on Monopoly Millionaires game so I had to stop everything to cover the new game. Just between you and me, I think it's a horrible game - I'll never play it. It appears it could be extremely costly to the state which was what I thought when I saw the concept and cost of the game. Of course, since it's computerized draws, I predict there won't be a winner anytime soon because sales won't cover the costs of a winner. Friday night they were short to fund by <$19.8 million>. Anyway, let's move on to the Fun 5's update.
Let me start by addressing the question - "the Fun 5's tickets are still selling .... how can this be since they closed the game."
On October 21st at 2:15 pm, the Texas Lottery initiated closing the Fun 5's game. What they did first was to send a mail message via the lottery terminals to their 17,000 retailers stating ....
As you see, they told 17,000 retailers to stop selling this ticket immediately. My guess is that most likely 16,500 retailers did NOT check their mail so they did not get the message. Then, to add insult to injury, there are many, many retailers who will wait on their G-Tech reps to come and remove tickets - the retailers will NOT remove the tickets themselves. Many retailers have made it clear that they have too many other concerns and can't and/or won't keep track of all of the lottery products.
This is why the tickets were/are still selling even though the game has been issued a "close date." Close date means the tickets can be sold for 45 days after the date has been set.
Just so that you know - to protect players, I have tried for years to reduce that 45 day period. (See page 12, Issue 11 in my last Sunset recommendations.pdf)
But the Texas Lottery has always objected stating that G-Tech needs the full 45 days to pick up all tickets. I think it's a bunch of baloney since G-Tech reps are required to be in every store at least once every two weeks.
The "45-day" motive .... so the lottery can continue to sell tickets with NO top prizes left in the game which is really a tacky thing to do.
Speaking of tacky ... I witnessed a G-Tech rep picking up a $50 game on the very day a close date was announced. The store owner objected ... he wanted to keep the ticket because it was a hot seller for him and he actually made money by selling $50 tickets. But his rep took the tickets out of his store anyway.
Why do you think they wanted those tickets picked up? My guess, common sense and logic says it was because there were still two top prizes left unclaimed. Hmmm. ...
Once I suggested that a rep remove a game with no top prizes but he refused stating there were still plenty of low tier prizes. This encounter took place roughly 30 days after the close date had been announced.
Point here - they leave tickets in the stores when it's to their financial advantage and pick them up ASAP when it's to their advantage too. This is WRONG.
Now, this time, as fate would have it ... <grin>
What's really interesting is what store clerks are telling players about the game being closed. They are saying that either all top prizes have been sold or there was a printing error. Hearing this really caught me by surprise. As I write this, only 3 of the 16 top prizes have been claimed and as we all know, there are no "printing" errors either. Obviously there is an error - but "printing" error??? If that had been the case, they would have closed the game much sooner. Huh?
Gregg Abbott rejected all Fun5 complaints ...
Let's reason ... the TLC says they owe you nothing .... the Consumer Protection Division in the Texas Attorney Generals office refuses to assist you .... then you're told that you cannot sue the Texas Lottery.
What recourse do lottery players (consumers) have in Texas? This is precisely what we need our elected officials to tell us and this is what we are waiting for now. An answer to this very question.
Just so that you know ...
My recommendation fell upon deaf ears by Members of the Texas Legislature - legislators said they didn't need to write it into law because the Texas Lottery said they would voluntarily comply to truth in advertising and deceptive business laws.
Hmmm ... so much for that ... Huh? Now is test time - Members - are you going to intervene? If not, then we (many Texans) may need permission to sue the Texas Lottery. Of course, we do need to verify that the lottery is the right entity to sue which is what my petition is all about.
Court hearing ...
I will be there but I doubt anyone else will be except the attorneys. I don't even know if the Judge will give us an answer on that day. The Court is a public place so anyone can go if they choose to go. But I don't think this is the case you would want to see.
If the Texas Legislature does not instruct the Texas Lottery to pay my prize - then I can assure you I will do everything in my power to TRY to collect my winnings. As will you - I'm sure. Those trials would be the ones you would want to attend. For the first time, you would you be able to get a first hand look at the things the Texas Lottery has gotten away with in years past. They have a history of "interpretation" issues, confusing "rules" with "policies and procedures," keeping players prize money, stalling payments in disputed claims and neglecting critical job duties that protects state money (ie ... failed to balance check book resulting in people stealing money from the lottery - better known as fraud - and those people got away with it because the Texas Lottery didn't catch the fraud for 2 years - the banks give customers 90 days to catch unauthorized activity) Sad but VERY true.
As a results of all my lottery work in the past 15 years, I promised myself that IF I was ever a winner, I would not let the Texas Lottery screw me out of my winnings. It appears my day may finally be here.
What do I think or know is going on ....
So far, we have seen the game closed. I have been watching the tickets being picked up and I've seen some aggressive actions by G-Tech reps in picking up the tickets. Many of you have reported the same thing to me so I feel confident that the majority of the tickets should be out of the stores this week.
Now G-Tech will tally what was sold and what was cashed in and what remains to be cashed in. Players have 180 days to collect prizes on this game.
Next they'll count how many of the tickets that were sold had the money bags in Game 5 and how many of the tickets had three 5's in a row in Game 5.
After they arrive at these initial figures - they will then compute how many tickets were trashed or cashed in because other games on the tickets were winners. This will reduce the liability figure. But then they will have to compute how many tickets may have been retrieved from the trash by players and store clerks.
The reason the store clerks role is so important in this case is because players tried to cash in their Fun 5's tickets on day one (Sept 1). Even the store clerks thought the tickets were winners so some savvy clerks saved these ticket just in case. Imagine ... they had 9 weeks to collect tickets from unsuspecting players and/or from their trash cans.
Once G-Tech and the Texas Lottery has a figure, the legislative committees will begin their research/deliberations. Some elected officials think the legislature will have to pass a bill authorizing payment - IF the the decision is made to honor the face value of the tickets. Other legislators think the Texas Lottery can pay the prizes without legislative approval.
Right now the Texas Lottery is still in denial - they are telling players they will not pay the prizes because they don't validate as winners as per the Administrative Code. Of course the tickets won't validate - the validations don't comply to the rule!
So that you know - the Game Rule is the Bible. It's like a law ... "60 MPH" or else!!!
The Texas Lottery believes that what they intended to do will excuse them from making the mistakes they obviously made on this game. Which by the way, were mistakes made from pure negligence on the lottery's part ... in my humble opinion ... of course.
This would be like putting poison in a cake that kills 15 people but the bakers say it was a mistake so they should not be held accountable. Yeah right!
The TLC think's it's OK for players to scream in stores from excitement of winning and to make phone calls to loved ones telling them they finally won the lottery only to be rejected by the lottery. Told they don't know how to read.
Imagine, after bringing it to their attention in the first week, the Lottery continued to sell these tickets to players for a total of 9 weeks. They ignored all concerns and warnings from their players.
I pray the Legislature puts the lottery in their place and makes them do the right thing. Then I hope they move forward next year by passing legislation that would finally protect both the Players and the State IF the Lottery is kept in Texas.
Do keep in mind - Members of the Texas Legislature are in a precarious position. On one hand, they were elected by you to protect you from unscrupulous activities and to write laws to protect you. On the other hand, they took an oath to protect the State of Texas.
Having said this, let me assure you that both the State of Texas and the Texas Lottery CAN afford to honor the face value of these tickets. They should not force you to seek legal counsel either - in my humble opinion. State officials and state employees have "integrity" ... remember?
Press release upsets many (including me)
I wonder - who is the Texas Lottery referring to as "opportunistic individuals?" Me? You? The lawyers across Texas who believe their clients have legitimate cases? Or store owners/clerks who have a multitude of tickets that were sold from the store where they work?
Speaking of clerks holding winning tickets sold from the store they work in ... it just so happens that I also recommended legislation be written that would forbid store clerks from purchasing lottery products from the stores they work in. But the lottery opposed that too and our elected officials listened to the lottery - not me. Recommendations submitted to the Sunset Commission. (Issue 1, Page 2, #2)
What I find really interesting in the press release is how they boast about the tickets popularity.
HEY, Lottery, listen to me --- I've given ya'll so much FREE advertising on this game that your sales should have been through the roof! Just wait til you see the costs for advertising on my site! <grin>
I bet if I billed them they'd call it an "unauthorized expense" and refuse to submit payment! :))
In closing today ...
10/29/14 - 11:45 pm - I am so sorry that I have not been able to post an update for ya'll. I am just one person who does everything and I have to do my Lotto Report work first.
As far as collecting our monies that we believe we have coming to us, we are still working on that. Hang on to your tickets and be patient. I still say do not retain attorney's at this time - wait until we have official word that the Texas Lottery (State of Texas) is going to refuse to make good on the face value of these tickets. I personally find it hard to believe that the State is going to make us take legal action - but - that remains to be seen.
I have been trying every day to post the latest news - so to speak - but can't get off the phone long enough to write it. I promise - I will answer all your questions and explain what "closing" the game means and what I think.
I swear, I'll try my best to post for ya'll tomorrow.
HANG on to your tickets - I have every intention to take whatever action I deem necessary to collect my winnings and I expect you will too.
One thing I do want to say too - I work 14 to 16 hours per day. Tonight I may finish by 1:30 am. I am NEVER here at 7, 8 or 9 am to answer my phone. I do have to be here to post the 10 am draw each morning .... so I wish ya'll would call after 11 AM. My recorder is full.
10-22-14 - 2:15 PM - Will be posting another update to answer your questions and on what to do as soon as I can. It will either be later today or tomorrow.
10-21-14 - 3 pm - Texas Lottery issues press release closing Fun 5's game today. They said sales were outstanding - imagine that! More to come later. Keep making those calls because we are owed our prize winnings from these tickets.
10-21-14 - Ooops - I meant to give you a link so you could all file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission. I would like for all of you to file a complaint with the Feds too. Click here to fill out a form online. They [the feds] do take things very seriously in consumer protection.
10-21-14 - What we need to do now is in blue bold type below. There's 3 things to do - please do it.
Let me start off by telling you I am having a very hard time replying to all your emails and questions. I only have so much time. I'm still here and still working on this issue. Players have started calling their reps and asking outright why no reply from their inquiries.
Let me tell you what I learned when I was in Austin week before last. I learned that our elected officials have not been told about your complaints (for the most part.) It seems that the staffers job is to "handle" your complaint for him/her then move on. To the staffers, this means calling the TLC to ask them to respond to you.
Learning this made me madder than hell. The lottery has already denied you but the elected officials are having them deny you again.
Anyway, since then, for those of you that I have talked to personally by phone, I've told you to call your elected officials but this time ask to speak directly to him so that you can find out if he agrees that your ticket is a legally winning ticket.
I want all of you to call back but this time ask to speak to your elected official personally. Tell him what you are telling me and use my website to show him the ticket.
If he doesn't call you back, that's bad. Really bad. Ask yourself what is he doing to protect you as an elected official.
You can tell when you're talking to him if he's been told what the Texas Lottery is trying to claim and you'll know if he's defending them. That's OK because you can then tell him that you also have a ticket that has 3 fives in a row on it but you can't/won't cash it in because you wouldn't be paid the amount you actually won. This will confuse him and you will now have his attention.
You see, the rule says if you have the 3 fives in game five, then you WILL have a money bag. The rule does not say MAY - it says you will have.
Notice my ticket below is a $5 winner in Game 2, it's a $10 winner in Game 3 and I do have 3 fives in Game 5 for $10. Which according to the rule equates to $50 in Game5 because I'm suppose to have a money bag with those 3 fives. Problem is, I do NOT have a money bag. A copy and paste of the official rule says ....
2.2 Programmed Game Parameters.
I found that those who see this shuts up immediately. This is because they can't combat the two distinct problems in Game 5 - they are caught off guard and they don't understand how the lottery could make this kind of mistake. So they quickly become silent.
When scanned, the ticket above says the ticket is a $25 winner but I don't agree with the validation on this ticket. The ticket does not comply with the rule and it clearly doesn't comply with the validation process either.
I'd say the commission is playing the public like a trick card dealer. What you see is not what you get.
But we are going to fight this.
I've been hearing that the Texas Lottery is NOT taking your name and address. What they are doing is pretending that you are "inquiring" rather than "complaining." Therefore, you must make sure they have your complaint and they can't label you as "just a caller."
There's two ways to do this. One - just send an email to them - in the subject matter - say Complaint - then tell them what you tell me. You believe you have a winning ticket but the terminal says its not a winner. Be sure to include your name, address, city, state, phone number.
Or you can fill out their complaint form online. Their form is not applicable to this kind of complaint so you have to make it fit - Under "complaint info" where it asks for date and time of incident - just say Oct or Sept and for the "time," just say morning, afternoon, various times or N/A. Under "lottery location" just say licensed Texas lottery retailers. This info is not applicable to a complaint that they are defrauding you. These are required fields so you have to type something in to get your message to go through.
Yesterday (10/20/14) I filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission. I did this because the Attorney General - Gregg Abbott - is refusing to help lottery players. Many of you have reported being told by the AG's office that they are the lottery's attorney so they can't help you. I absolutely do not know how a state can get away with this - someone has to stand up for the consumer. Click here to fill out a complaint form with the Federal Trade Commission online.
Imagine, Attorney General Gregg Abbott was elected by YOU to protect consumers (Texans) .... his job was to ensure the rights of consumers as well as fair trade, competition and accurate information. Consumer rights and consumer protection laws provides a way for individuals to fight back against abusive business practices. Abbott's office takes complaints about businesses that don't make good on their promises and/or cheats people out of money.
But it appears he won't take complaints from lottery players who are being cheated. Abbott wants to be Governor - imagine how he'll cheat us if he's elected. Gawd forbid.
Gregg Abbott's office suggested for ya'll to call the State Auditors Office and the Sunset Commission. The Sunset Commission can do NOTHING.
You know, what amazes me is how our elected officials are saying they need to "investigate" this Fun 5's ticket. I'd like to know what they need to investigate - all anyone has to do is look at the scratch ticket. But the Texas Lottery has turned this into an "interpretation" issue just like they did on the cheated winners. Those winners were entitled to a set percentage of sales as per the rule but they didn't receive it. The legislature was upset when they realized the lottery had overpaid winners by $70 million but underpaid others by $3 million. The Texas Lottery can't be sued so both the lottery and the legislature got away with this horrific act of cheating players.
If the Texas Lottery dares to tell you that this issue was cleared by an audit, it really wasn't. The dates the auditors used to clear the lottery were not the dates the players were cheated.
Anyway, let me get back to our subject ...
On the Fun 5's scratch ticket, there are two plain spoken simple sentences for anyone to read regarding winning with the money bag.
Besides all of us having a serious problem with the Texas Lottery's interpretation of things, I am pleased to report that the Supreme Court put the Texas Lottery in their place on this very issue. Let's see, I think the Supreme Court said, "the Commissions [TX Lottery] interpretation of the UCC contradicts the plain language of that statute" Hmmm .... Imagine that.
There's one more thing I want ya'll to do now. I think you should all send your State Rep and your State Senator a copy of the Petition that was filed in Travis County. Tell them that the "hundreds of people" referenced in the petition includes yourself. All you have to do is open the file - then do a save as - then tell your computer where to put it. Click here to open the petition.
Your Senators email address is his first name.last email@example.com. State reps email addresses are the same except their ends with "@house.state.tx.us. There is a period between the first name and the last name.
Even though you are sending an email to your elected official, do know that his staffer will get it but the staffer should see to it that the official knows about this court filing.
Hang in there - we're still trying to get someone to protect us from being scammed by the state of Texas. Legal action will be a last resort but it is a resort.
We do have some positive feedback from some of our legislators. I'm just waiting to see what they tell me. This message is NOT a negative, all bad news posting. We are simply identifying the obstacles and moving forward.
10-16-14 - Today a petition was filed with the Travis County District Clerks office. The petition, known as Rule 202, allows depositions to be taken prior to filing any lawsuits. This is done so that people can determine if there is just cause to file a lawsuit. A judge has to approve it. It will be several weeks before we have a ruling on the petition.
The Petition is plain spoken and all of you should have no problems in reading and understanding it. Click here to read it.
We must continue to pursue contacting our state reps and Senators. It would be very sad for the legislature to force the People to file lawsuits when they were elected to protect us by enforcing and writing laws.
It is now time to file one more complaint. And do it NOW - OK???
You told me that you felt cheated because you believed your tickets were winners when you scratched them off. Do tell the AG that the Texas Lottery has told you that your ticket is not a winner and they are trying to tell you the ticket says something that you don't agree with. Just the same thing you've said to me in your emails and your phone calls - OK? I want you to write or tell the same thing that you told me but tell it to the Consumer Protection division.
Be sure to include your name, address, city, state, zip and phone number in your communications.
Consumer complaints can be filed with the Texas Attorney General's Consumer Protection Hotline at 800-621-0508.
Written complaints can be made online at" - Click here
written complaints can be mailed to:
Keep me posted and do continue to watch my site for new developments. And finally, say a prayer that the Judge approves our petition!
10/03/14 - Two things everybody needs to do now ...
I am so sorry for taking so long to post updates for ya'll. Between my phone calls, emails and my Lotto Report work, finding time is extremely difficult for me.
I will use this page to post updates until this ordeal is over. I will post them on top so you won't have to scroll down to find the latest posting. Just look at the dates.
First I'm going to tell you that the Texas Lottery is still selling the tickets and they are still denying players claims. The Texas Lottery feels confident that they will prevail based on the Administrative Code and the official rule stating that the computers validations constitutes when a ticket is a winner and nothing else matters. They also are banking on not having to adhere to consumer laws however, they made a verbal agreement to adhere to consumer laws and I believe the verbal commitment will be upheld.
I totally disagree with their thinking - and my reasons are simple. If a scratch ticket is NOT in compliance with the rule but the validations are in compliance with the rule, then how can the validations in the terminals be correct? A court and a jury will NEVER let the lottery, G-Tech and thousands of retailers get away with this and that is something I AM confident in. We do have a corrupt system but I don't believe it is all corrupt in juries!
So ... I am telling you to hang on to your tickets ... Don't let anything happen to them and have faith.
Is there any hope from the letters we sent out?
I've had a couple of legislators staff's say they were going to ask AG Gregg Abbott for assistance since this is a consumer issue and they were going to notify the Senate Finance Committee and the special Committee appointed by the Lt. Governor and the Speaker as requested by the Governor.
I have not confirmed that this was actually done. General Abbott is currently running for Governor and if he doesn't protect the consumers, then I sure hope he doesn't become the next Governor of Texas. We'll see if money dictates his fairness to the People of Texas with these Fun 5 tickets that do not comply with the rule - in my humble opinion.
Senator Paxton's staff (McKinney) does not agree that the Fun 5's ticket says what players think the ticket says. His staff will not tell me what the Senator himself thinks. Yet the Senator is an attorney himself. Senator Paxton is running for AG - if he doesn't believe in protecting consumers, we sure as hell don't need him as our Attorney General. Just so that you know, People across Texas vote for the AG, not just the People of McKinney. So keep this in mind next month - be sure to find out what he thinks before voting. I will try to post it for you.
Representative Scott Sanford is also from McKinney. To appease one of his constituents, his staff arranged a conference call to the Texas Lottery so the player could be denied once AGAIN by the Texas Lottery. The staffer said that was all they could do. Unfortunately, he is up for re-election but he has no opponent so he's got the job. Guess his not helping his constituents is a good incentive as the states financial loss could hurt the states budget that he has to work with in January! <grin>
Senator Dan Patrick, who is running for Lt. Governor, has forwarded some of his complaints to the Texas Lottery asking the lottery to respond for him. His office was then contacted by one of the constituents by phone to discuss the Senators actions and supposedly the Senators office is now looking further into it. I have not confirmed that the Senators office has pursued it any further so it remains to be seen. I'll do this next week.
Two Things To Do Now -
After you call them, please send me an email to tell me what he/she said. The feedback from you will tell me everything I need to know. To find their phone numbers again, click here and type in your address.
2) I need for all of you to send me another email containing the following information (just copy and paste the below questions in your email then answer each question):
a) In subject line, please say "Fun 5's - Personal info."
Just so that you know, I was hoping to not be forced to do this but I give - I'm going to go on and do it for a couple of reasons. First, legal experts have advised me that we all have to do something first and they have offered to help us take this first step before moving forward with any suits. That is why I've asked you for the above information.
You are NOT committed to anything - and these attorneys are not committed to you either. No decisions have been made yet - they are in research mode at this time. Several large law firms have come together and are willing to help put us in a position to take legal action for anyone who may wish to pursue it.
Please do not call with this info. I do not have time to write it all down. If you do not have a computer, then send this info to me by US mail. Here is my address.
The Lotto Report
Please do these two things. Your emails will be moved to a special mailbox on my computer, I will not respond nor will I even read the messages until it is time.
When the attorney's are ready to make their first move, you will be notified and you will know what is being done in your name IF you permit it. I'm certain you will all want to be a part of this 1st step no matter who you retain to represent you if needed.
Question: If anyone has been to the State Fair, tell me, is the retailer at the Fair selling the Fun 5's tickets? I'd love to know this!
In concluding today's writing ...
Law Firms are researching and planning strategies. Just hang on to your tickets and watch my site. Since I have this page up now, I can update easily and frequently even if there's no news.
I will be posting some scratch ticket info that should be helpful with regards to the language used on the tickets for those of you who need it. I have some info now but am still going through my tickets.
Players - hang in there and BE PATIENT. These things take time and I don't mean one week.
Current Fun 5's Update Page, click here
The Fun 5's Update page was originally posted: Oct 3, 2014 - PM
Related Fun 5's Links
What To Do If You Have A Money
Bag on Your Fun 5's Ticket
Read then DO IT ... (The 1st story posted (9/8/14)
on the Fun 5's scratch ticket) ... Click here
Fun 5's - Questions & Answers
Everything you have been asking me
is covered here! Posted 9/21/14.
Rule 202 Petition Filed In Travis County
This is NOT a lawsuit - We're asking for the
Courts to allow us to take depositions. Petition
is easy to read and understand. A great read!
Click here, pdf. Filing Receipt, click here to see.
Posted 10/16/14. Do keep making those calls ...
My Letter To The District Attorney
RE: Fun 5's Scratch Ticket
Click here, a pdf
Official Fun 5's Rule
If you want to know that much about it.
Houston Attorney Shares A
Sample Demand Letter
that he sent to the Texas Lottery on behalf of his clients.
An interesting read. I do appreciate his sharing this letter
to help you understand your case from a legal standpoint.
Click here (pdf).
Media Coverage - Fun 5's
This is NOT all of them!
ABC - KTRK TV Houston
NBC - KXAS - Dallas
Dallas Morning News
Kens5 - San Antonio - TV.
Click 2 - Houston
Fox 7 - Austin
Austin American Statesman/Longview
Good Morning America (Can't find link)
Channel 11 TV - Fort Worth - 10/21/14
Courthouse News (10/21/14)
Houston Chronicle (10/23/14)
Dallas Morning News, (10/24/14)
Courthouse News, (10/24/14)
Dallas Morning News, (12/10/14)
Houston Chronicle, (12/10/14)
4 Traders (12/11/14)
Courthouse News (12/11/14)
News Journal (!2/12/14)
WacoTrib (AP) (12/11/14)
USA Today - Caller Times (1/23/18)
Texas Lotto Report
(All About the Texas Lottery)
P. O. Box 495033
Garland, Texas 75049-5033
(972) 681-1048 (Fax)