Texas Lottery
Commision Meeting Transcript
Jan 16, 2009
Deceptive & Trick Scratch Tickets

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brought to you by
The Lotto Report

Originally Posted: July 10, 2016
Revised:

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Opinions & Editorial by Dawn Nettles
Publisher of The Lotto Report



The testimony belows shows Texas Lottery Commissioners failed
to
uncover scratch tickets properly. They would have thrown
away what could
have been winning tickets which is exactly
what TX players were doing - trashing winning tickets.


NO action was taken by the Commission after this demonstration
- rather - these games
continued to sell to unsuspecting players.

Back to original story

 

Jan 16, 2009 Transcript

 

AGENDA ITEM NO. XXI
CHAIRMAN COX: Okay. And, Ms. Nettles, I have a witness affirmation form from you. Did you have additional comment?
MS. NETTLES: Yes.
CHAIRMAN COX: Okay.
MS. NETTLES: Good morning again, Commissioners. I'm Dawn Nettles with the Lotto Report out of Dallas. I would like to take this opportunity to show you-all something. I'm going to call it kind of a demonstration. I don't know if you-all will permit it or not. But what I would like to do is to give you-all a scratch ticket and have you scratch it off. Will you-all allow me to do that?
CHAIRMAN COX: Ms. Kiplin?
MS. KIPLIN: This is an item for public comment; it's to receive public comment. You're limited in terms of deliberations. You can respond to questions that have to do with policy, and you can also deliberate to put it on a future agenda item. I think if you're inclined to accommodate her request that you scratch a ticket, you can do that. But in terms of any kind of response, you're very much limited in what you can do.
CHAIRMAN COX: Okay. So why don't we scratch the tickets, and then you be sure that you help us with our responses, and we can do that.
MS. NETTLES: Will you-all do that?
CHAIRMAN COX: Sure.
MS. NETTLES: Okay.
COMMISSIONER SCHENCK: These aren't -- are these live tickets?
MS. KIPLIN: I have no idea. I don't know what she --
MS. NETTLES: Okay.
MS. KIPLIN: -- is planning.
MS. NETTLES: First of all --
COMMISSIONER SCHENCK: Who wins --
MS. NETTLES: -- it's not a gift.
COMMISSIONER SCHENCK: -- this money?
MS. NETTLES: It's not a gift.
COMMISSIONER SCHENCK: Okay.
MS. NETTLES: It's a demonstration only. Okay? I'm going to provide you-all with a scratch ticket, and all I want you to do is read the directions on the scratch ticket, scratch it off. The ticket is mine, though. I'm not giving it to you as a gift. There is no gift, there is no trick, there is no nothing.
CHAIRMAN COX: Okay.
MS. NETTLES: The Texas Lottery scratch ticket --
CHAIRMAN COX: Is this an IQ test?
MS. NETTLES: Probably so.
CHAIRMAN COX: I hate those.
MS. NETTLES: It is an IQ test. Coins -- does anybody have a coin? I mean, I have --
COMMISSIONER SCHENCK: I have cash.
CHAIRMAN COX: I don't remember the last time I had a coin.
COMMISSIONER SCHENCK: I have coins.
MS. NETTLES: Well, I have two --
COMMISSIONER SCHENCK: I have coins.
MS. NETTLES: But do you have a Texas Lottery scratch? I only have two. They work better than coins. May I?
CHAIRMAN COX: Sure.
COMMISSIONER SCHENCK: I didn't realize there was an official scratch tool.
COMMISSIONER WILLIAMSON: I didn't know there was either.
CHAIRMAN COX: Oh, thank you.
MS. NETTLES: Can we come up with one more?
COMMISSIONER SCHENCK: I've got a quarter.
MS. NETTLES: Just read the ticket.
MS. KIPLIN: I'll remind you guys you're on the record. And so I need you to go back to the microphone, Ms. Nettles, if you won't mind, so we can keep a record.
MS. NETTLES: Kim, would you like to scratch a ticket, too?
MS. KIPLIN: No, thanks.
(Commissioners scratching tickets)
COMMISSIONER WILLIAMSON: Mine is already scratched at the top one.
MS. NETTLES: That's fine.
COMMISSIONER WILLIAMSON: Oh, okay.
MS. NETTLES: Yes, that's okay.
CHAIRMAN COX: Commissioner Schenck is eating this up, isn't he? You sure you don't have experience?
COMMISSIONER SCHENCK: This is like the LSAT.
(Laughter)
COMMISSIONER WILLIAMSON: I'm not going to tell you what I did on the G (phonetic) map.
MS. NETTLES: And when you finish scratching, I would like to come and pick up your ticket.
CHAIRMAN COX: Okay. Game 2. If I had known you were going to do this, I would have brought my glasses.
MS. NETTLES: I'm sorry. Look at it this way: Y'all get to have a fun experience, experience what the players experience.
COMMISSIONER SCHENCK: Oh, you didn't win.
MS. NETTLES: Are you finished?
COMMISSIONER SCHENCK: Yes.
MS. NETTLES: May I come get it?
COMMISSIONER SCHENCK: Yes -- well, I can't respond.
MS. KIPLIN: I know.
MS. NETTLES: He doesn't have to, but I'm going to leave the tickets with him.
COMMISSIONER SCHENCK: Actually, let me look at it.
MS. NETTLES: Now, don't touch it
again. You've already scratched it.
COMMISSIONER SCHENCK: I won't scratch it.
MS. NETTLES: You already did.
COMMISSIONER SCHENCK: I've touched it. I can't order myself to win, huh?
MS. KIPLIN: It is a statutory prohibition.
COMMISSIONER SCHENCK: I would think; I would hope.
CHAIRMAN COX: Okay.
COMMISSIONER SCHENCK: Oh, wait. Did I win one?
CHAIRMAN COX: Okay. In between.
COMMISSIONER WILLIAMSON: Am I the last one?
CHAIRMAN COX: No. I'm still deliberating.
COMMISSIONER WILLIAMSON: Okay.
CHAIRMAN COX: You don't have to turn in your paper until time is up.
COMMISSIONER WILLIAMSON: Oh, good.
COMMISSIONER SCHENCK: Pencils down.
COMMISSIONER WILLIAMSON: It's not a --
CHAIRMAN COX: Well, I think I'm finished.
MS. NETTLES: Are you finished, Commissioner Cox?
CHAIRMAN COX: I believe I am.
COMMISSIONER WILLIAMSON: I think so. I've never played that one before.
MS. NETTLES: Commissioners, I would like to congratulate you. You all three unscratched your tickets exactly the way that all Texas Lottery players are uncovering them. The problem is, you didn't uncover it all.
COMMISSIONER SCHENCK: Is that right?
MS. NETTLES: Now, if I may, I'm going to bring you three more tickets and you can see where you missed a play. If you'll look right here --
MS. KIPLIN: On the record. You can share his mike if you want.
MS. NETTLES: Put yours side-by-side. Let me get you one that's . . .
COMMISSIONER WILLIAMSON: Yes.
COMMISSIONER SCHENCK: Ms. Nettles, if you want to use my microphone.
MS. KIPLIN: That's why I said --
MS. NETTLES: Okay. Commissioners, you now have a ticket that you scratched and you now have a ticket that has not been scratched. I would like to call your attention to Game No. 4, the lower left corner. You-all followed the directions. It said prize, prize, prize, prize, and you uncovered those four areas. What you don't know is that that's not where one of the plays is. If you will now scratch, which you might need your coins back, underneath where it says "Slots, Game 4," that's where the other game is.
CHAIRMAN COX: Where is it?
MS. NETTLES: At the top.
CHAIRMAN COX: I still didn't win -- or pardon me -- you still didn't win.
MS. NETTLES: Well, the truth is, is those are tickets that were bought by players and discarded as losing tickets. They were scanned. I took the liberty yesterday of stopping at four stores -- two in Austin, two in Dallas. And all I was looking for were the Hot Hand tickets. I mean, I picked up whatever. But what I went through last night from my hotel room were these Hot Hand tickets. Out of four stores -- and I haven't counted these tickets -- every one of these are potential winners, all trashed. And I have not uncovered them yet to see if they're winners or not. When I told you-all a couple of months ago that we had a problem with the scratch tickets and that there was what I call trick tickets, deceiving tickets, this is what I'm referring to. I also picked up -- and this is a brand-new ticket, just hit the streets last week. And people are throwing these away left and right, and I will see how many of these are winners. And I'll bet you that there will be a winner in there. You have another game that started called Fortune Cookie. And I don't know -- it's a month or two old maybe, and I'm sorry I didn't bring you some for you to scratch on it, too. But players are throwing these away left and right as well, and that is -- and if you'll let me come up there, I'll show you what I'm talking about. This is straight out of yesterday's trash can, too.
COMMISSIONER SCHENCK: Well, that's fine, of course. Ms. Nettles, you can use my microphone.
MS. NETTLES: Okay. There is you a ticket. This is how players uncover their tickets. If you would read the directions and see if you can find their mistake. Maybe you will; maybe you won't.
CHAIRMAN COX: Is it under "Lucky
Fortune"?
MS. NETTLES: Bingo! Nobody knows that, though.
CHAIRMAN COX: So what I've just learned is that you scratch everything you can scratch and see if anything comes off?
MS. NETTLES: Well, that would be advisable. However, you cannot get -- what? -- 15 million people to do that, because it's not how they do it.
MS. KIPLIN: Y'all --
COMMISSIONER SCHENCK: We're not supposed to --
MS. KIPLIN: You're not supposed to -- yes.
MS. NETTLES: Okay. It's fine. You don't have to talk to me. That's okay. You-all have -- I have shown you exactly what I'm talking about. And I want to tell you-all that 50, 60 percent of every Texas Lottery scratch ticket is -- I would have this complaint on. That Fortune Cookie game -- look at your Hot Hand game. And what you're going to notice is that it tells you, "Here is Game 1, Game 2, Game 3, Game 4, Game 5." Your Lucky Fortune ticket does not give you an indication that that's a game to uncover. If staff would like a further explanation on these tickets that I could easily give, if next month they would give me a copy of every ticket done in the past year and a half, I could go into your conference room and pull out the tickets and show you just how many of them are like this. This is why the unclaimed prize fund stands what it is, and this is also why your scratch ticket sales are going to go down, because people are not winning, and that's what every retailer will tell you, is that they are not selling as much because they're not winning. Well, they're not winning because they're not catching them. So I appreciate your taking and allowing me to do this today. I would like to see some major changes made, not only for the players but for the state, because y'all are going to continue to lose as long as people throw away winning tickets. And I thank you, and I will pick that stuff up.
CHAIRMAN COX: Thank you very much, Ms. Nettles.
COMMISSIONER SCHENCK: Yes. Thank you. I'm sorry you didn't win on these, by the way.
MS. NETTLES: Oh, I knew they were losers. They were in the trash can. Players, they don't really buy these games for fun. Most people buy it simply to see if they win, and they're using the ticket checkers, uncovering the scan, so they were never unscratched in the first place. I wasn't sure, though, that they weren't winners.
COMMISSIONER WILLIAMSON: I think one of mine is a $15 winner. You might want to look -- that's all I can say.
CHAIRMAN COX: Okay. Thank you very much, Ms. Nettles.
MS. KIPLIN: If I can just put on the record for purposes of the transcript, Ms. Nettles did get back all of the tickets that she provided to the Commissioners that were live tickets.
CHAIRMAN COX: Okay.
(Coin rolled on floor)
MS. KIPLIN: It's right here.
MS. NETTLES: Okay.
MS. KIPLIN: It took a weird bounce.

Back to original story

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is a deceptive ticket though you have no
way of knowing it by looking at it. Was given to
the Commissioners to scratch off on 6/16/09, they
failed to scratch off all "game" areas. On Game 4,
it appears players are to scratch off 4 lines with the
"$" marks with "prize" at the end of the line. This is
what players and the Commissioners did but they failed
to uncover one of the lines that could have
been a winning line. You see, the hidden
game is actually under the words "Game 4"
but no one knews that. This is why I call it deceptive.

 



Gave this ticket to the TX Lottery Commissioners on 6/16/09
and asked them to scratch it off. They all failed to uncover
the "Lucky Fortune" game (top left). While it is in the
directions to uncover, players failed to uncover this game.

The ticket is not labeled as "Game 1" and "Game 2."
This is why the unclaimed prize level was at $922K
on a $2 scratch ticket. Unbelievable! They
continued to sell this ticket for 6 months even
after seeing the problem.

 


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