State Agencies Claim They Are
Exempt From "False Advertising Laws!"
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The Lotto Report
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Originally Posted: Dec. 22, 2001
Revised: Dec. 25, 2001
California Lottery Sold
Millions of Scratch-Off Tickets
After Top Prizes Won
Fox News &
The Associated Press
SACRAMENTO, Calif. Published Dec. 21, 2001 - Although the odds of winning
a big lottery prize are always low, for some people who bought scratch-off lottery
tickets in California, the odds of winning might be even lower: none at all.
Since 1996, California has sold millions of dollars worth of scratch-off tickets
even after the top prizes offered up to $100,000 were already won.
The tickets are the state lottery's most popular product.
State lottery officials, who admitted the practice last summer, have said that
state agencies are exempt from false-advertising laws.
("Exempt" ... this is VERY unfair to the people. While this lawsuit is
in progress, they should investigate California's practice of "paying what
they say" rather than a percentage of sales that was allocated to the prize pool ...
my advise would be to look carefully at the big jackpots ... and someone should
check into New Yorks practices too. I've obtained some very interesting
paper work on both these states!)
At least one purchaser Amy Stanley of San Francisco was unsatisfied
with the explanation and filed a lawsuit that will go to trial next month. Stanley
says she bought tickets worth $1, $2, and $3 each expecting to have a chance
of winning prizes that were already claimed.
"No one has a clue," Stanley's attorney Kevin Roddy stated.
Since the suit was filed, California has placed a disclaimer on its tickets saying that "some
prizes, including top prizes, may have been claimed." Roddy wants California to
do more, and plans to argue that the state should follow in the footsteps of Massachusetts.
"In Massachusetts, when the Lottery Commission learns the top prizes are claimed,
it immediately sends an electronic message to its retailers, and that's posted.
People know what they're getting," Roddy said.
Although Roddy might not be satisfied by the disclaimers, one gambling watchdog
group thought they were a step in the right direction.
"I think it's great. They're saying you bought a ticket that may be worthless," said
Cheryl Schmit of Sacramento-based Stand Up for California.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
- End Story -
Last year Texas removed, from their point of sale promotional pieces, vital consumer information about the scratch off tickets. They no longer provide information as to how many tickets were printed or how many prizes there are for each prize. This information can NOT be found in the retail outlets where you purchase your tickets. For private industry, this is against the law. The TLC only posts this data on their web site and they made it extremely hard for players to find.
Last January 2001, Ms. Cloud called for an emergency meeting at the capitol just to inform our legislators that she was deleting this information because she believed she needed to provide "actual" figures and not "estimates" to the people. However, it's important to note, the TLC still does not give actual figures nor do they provide the data they said they would in this meeting. This is an issue I've been exposing on my web site for the past year. If the people do not speak up and make demands of our legislators, the TLC will continue to get away with non disclosure practices and they will continue to misrepresent things to us. Click here to read more about Texas withholding vital scratch ticket information
The biggest misrepresentation of all is that players believe that when they win the lotto, the TLC has "?? million" dollars there for the winner. This is NOT true. What the winner really won was just a percentage of sales. The lotteries take that percentage of sales, called the "allocated amount," and invest it - then after 25 years, the amount advertised is roughly how much money the winner should receive. Of course, you have to deduct 28% in taxes - then you probably still will owe more at the end of the year. The billboard figures are actually lies- they really represent how much a player will receive over a 25 year period but they do NOT make this point clear by any means.
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