The Iowa Lottery Board approved some changes Wednesday to the way it handles tickets brought on by concerns over potential fraud. The State Ombudsman raised concerns about potential problems after a scandal in the Canadian lottery. Iowa Lottery vice president, Mary Neubauer, says the first change is designed to prevent someone from claiming a ticker that isn’t theirs.
Neubauer says rules will be put in place requiring players to sign tickets before they are checked to see if they are a winning ticket. She says the change will protect everyone. Neubauer says the minute you put your name on the ticket, it protects you, it also protects the store from claims they did something wrong, and she says it helps maintain the integrity of the entire lottery system. The signature requirement on tickets will begin on March 15th.
Another change will reprogram lottery terminals to print out receipts for tickets. Neubauer says if you have a ticket that doesn’t win a prize, you will get a receipt that says you don’t have a winner. If you win, the receipt will tell you how much you have won, and she says you can take the receipt if you want. Neubauer says the receipts will start being printed sometime in May. The Iowa Lottery is also planning a public service campaign to educate players about the changes.
Neubauer says they’ll start the campaign on March 15th when the signature requirement goes into place, and they will change the campaign to include information about receipts when they start being printed. Neubauer says these are part of ongoing changes in the lottery as they try to adapt to what people want.
As an example, she says lottery machines used to print out receipts. She says people were not taking the receipts and that led to a lot of trash for retailers and trash in the landfills, but now people want the receipts printed again. The scam in Canada that prompted the concern in Iowa involved clerks taking tickets and telling customers they were not winners, and the clerks would later cash in the winning tickets.