Police have arrested two Iowans with what they say are counterfeit winning tickets for the lottery’s TouchPlay game. Iowa Lottery spokeswoman Mary Neubauer says several law-enforcement departments in northeastern Iowa cracked the case. It was a Waverly couple she says, Scott and Jennifer Brandhorst who are each now charged with felonies under lottery law, which is a category dealing with forged and fraudulent lottery tickets.
The controversial machines, which have come under scrutiny by state lawmakers for their resemblance to slot machines, do not dispense cash. Instead, they spit out winning tickets to lucky players. Throughout the history of the Iowa Lottery, as in lotteries in general, Neubauer says there’ve been folks who have tried to beat the system.
Looking back, she notes that on the first day of business for the Iowa Lottery, in 1985, someone tried to use a forged scratch-off ticket to claim a five-thousand dollar prize. The lottery dealt with that first attempt and have continued to deal with “the creative types” who’ve come along since then. Neubauer says the Lottery’s forged an alliance with the Division of Criminal Investigation and local law enforcement and says this is another example of working together.
Several forged TouchPlay tickets have been cashed in recent weeks and authorities are still looking for a man in the Des Moines area whose picture they have on several clear security videotapes.