Iowa Lottery officials have completed a fourth round of security checks at retail outlets. Lottery spokesperson Mary Neubauer says they checked 217 randomly selected businesses. The operation did not turn up any problems with store personnel.
The businesses involved in the compliance checks are located in 48 different counties. Neubauer says lottery investigators were joined by agents from the state Department of Criminal Investigation because of the amount of money involved. The agents posed as customers, presenting winning tickets that totaled $1.5 million dollars in prizes.
This month’s check follows similar efforts in February, April and May. “The difference is that there was a lot more money on the line this time around, but again all the tickets were handled appropriately,” Neubauer said. “We think it’s really good news for Iowa. I think it shows that we have a retail system here that’s working really well.”
During the Iowa Lottery’s initial checks in February, around half of the retail outlets visited failed to require signatures on the tickets. The compliance check this month found nearly two-thirds of the locations required signatures. “If there’s one area that is still causing us concern it is the issue of the signature requirements on the back of the tickets,” Neubauer said
The locations that have repeatedly failed to require signatures will receive letters of warning from the lottery. Neubauer says the best way for customers to protect themselves from possible fraud is by signing the back of their lottery tickets.