New security rules begin Saturday requiring you to sign all lottery tickets before you have them checked to see if they are winners. Jerry Fleagle, president of the Iowa Grocery Industry Association, says you can help by signing the ticket before you get to the store. "If it’s an important piece of paper that can be worth some money, sign the ticket ahead of time," Fleagle says. He says signing ahead of time will improve the experience when you come in to check a ticket or cash it in, and it will help all the other customers by preventing long lines.
A signature is required for all scratch tickets, pull tabs and lotto games. The Iowa Lottery has been conducting training for employees who’ll be checking the tickets. Fleagle says the number of employees in a store that handle lottery sales varies based on the size of the operation. Fleagle says some stores will have set employees at the courtesy counter to handle lottery issues, while others, such as convenience stores, will have every employee trained to handle them. He says customers must realize that stores can’t get their money from lottery winners unless the tickets are signed.
Dawn Carlson, president of the Petroleum Marketers and Convenience Stores of Iowa, agrees with Fleagle. "We would like to urge all consumers to sign their tickets before they come up to the counter at their local convenience store, and help us keep the convenience in the shopping experience," Carlson says. She says the two or three extra seconds to sign the ticket is an important step in protecting your interests and the employees who’re serving you.
The Iowa Lottery made the change after concerns were raised over the potential for clerks to scam customers who had winning tickets. While there have been not major problems in Iowa, there was a major scandal in the Canadian lottery that prompted the concern in Iowa. The Iowa Lottery will implement another security feature in May, by reprogramming the lottery terminals to print out receipts when tickets are checked to see if they are winners.