The Louisiana Lottery Encourages Players to
BATON ROUGE - According to the Louisiana Lottery Corporation, far too many players overlook the single most important thing they can do to help prevent theft of winning tickets - sign the back of them.
Online research conducted by the Lottery indicates that only 22 percent of players always or frequently sign the back of their tickets. What's more, nearly a third of respondents expressed having thought they won more than they were told when cashing a ticket.
"Because of the nature of our business, the Louisiana Lottery's number-one priority is upholding the highest level of integrity by ensuring players' interests are protected and promoting a positive playing experience," explained Lottery President Rose Hudson. "That's why we've launched 'Sign It Now,' a consumer awareness campaign aimed at educating players on the importance of signing the back of their Lottery tickets immediately after purchasing."
Lottery tickets are bearer instruments, which means that the Lottery must pay the holder of a winning ticket presented for payment. Since the Lottery's internal policies call for the investigation of any winning ticket worth more than $600 which shows signs of alteration, signing the back of the ticket plays a significant role in discouraging theft.
"Signing the back of their Lottery tickets immediately after purchasing is the easiest and single most effective action a player can take to help prevent theft," Hudson added.
Toward that end, the Lottery has begun adding the reminder on all of its scratch-off games and draw-style game ticket stock, advertising and point-of-sale materials. The "Sign It Now" message is also the focus of radio public service announcements and a Web page dedicated to consumer protection (www.louisianalottery.com/signitnow).
According to Hudson, another key component of the campaign is teaching its retailers how to generate validation receipts from the Lottery's ticket terminals. "In March, we provided onsite training for our retailers on how to print copies of validation receipts, which can confirm for players whether their ticket has won a prize and if so, the value of the prize," she explained.
Prizes of up to $600 can be claimed at any participating Lottery retailer, while prizes worth more must be claimed at a Lottery office. "If ever a player is in doubt about the value of a ticket, a validation receipt can be requested when having it cashed," she said. "If the player is told that the ticket is not a winner, the ticket can be returned to the player. There is no reason for a retailer to keep a nonwinning ticket."
Hudson said these safeguards are not provided as a substitute for being an informed consumer, however. "The Lottery strongly encourages our players to learn the rules and winning combinations of the games they play in order to have an idea of how much they have won before presenting their tickets for cashing," she said.
The Lottery provides this type of information on its Web site, in brochures located in retailer play centers and on game tickets.
The Lottery has also set up a dedicated e-mail address for players to report concerns or problems with cashing a winning ticket, email@example.com.
Players must be at least 21 years old to purchase a Lottery ticket. The Lottery encourages anyone who has a gambling problem or friends and family of anyone with a gambling problem to call toll-free 1-877-770-7867 for help. More information on Lottery consumer issues can be found on the Player Protection area of the Lottery's Web site.