Security Spotlight

One of the Texas Lottery Commission's Core Values is to ensure the security and integrity of the Games of Texas. The Security Spotlight highlights useful information for players and retailers that will enhance the fun and entertainment of playing the Games of Texas.

WHAT STEPS CAN I TAKE AS A TEXAS LOTTERY® PLAYER TO SAFEGUARD MY TICKETS AND HAVE THE BEST PLAYING EXPERIENCE POSSIBLE?

  • Purchase tickets only from a licensed Texas Lottery retailer.
  • Always check your tickets at the time of purchase to ensure that you received the correct lottery game, numbers and drawing date.
  • Sign your tickets upon receipt. If you lose a signed ticket, and it is submitted to the Texas Lottery, your signature may prevent someone else from claiming the lottery prize.
  • If you lose a lottery ticket or it is stolen, you can report the loss to the Texas Lottery Commission, either to the Texas Lottery Retailer Services Hotline (800-375-6886) or to any Lottery Claim Center. If your ticket was stolen, you must report the theft to the local law enforcement agency, obtain a case number, and provide the case number to the Texas Lottery Commission.
  • Check your own tickets and determine your prizes before presenting them to the retailer for validation by using a self-service Check-a-Ticket machine or a Gemini™ vending machine provided at one of the Texas Lottery's 17,800+ retail locations. You can also download the Texas Lottery app to a smartphone to check your lottery tickets.
  • Winning results for draw games can be printed by any licensed Texas Lottery retailer and are also available on the Texas Lottery website txlottery.org.
  • Verify the validation amount for your winning tickets by watching the validation display section of the customer-facing lottery sales monitor.
  • Ask the retailer for the PLAYER COPY of the validation receipt when you validate your tickets to ensure the accuracy of the transaction with the retailer.
  • One of five distinct tones will play every time a ticket is scanned to let players know the status of their winning and non-winning tickets. Descriptions of the five distinct tones are available at txlottery.org/Player Protection.
  • Report any suspicious activity or concerns that you have regarding a lottery ticket purchase to the Texas Lottery immediately. The Texas Lottery has a formal complaint process to address complaints from players and retailers. Phone complaints can be made to the Compliance Hotline at 512-344-5300 or 800-375-6886 x5300. Written complaints can be made online or via the mail or faxed to (512)344-5334.

AS A TEXAS LOTTERY® PLAYER, WHAT CAN I EXPECT WHEN PURCHASING OR REDEEMING LOTTERY TICKETS?

The Texas Lottery Commission exercises strict control and supervision over its games to promote and ensure integrity, security, honesty and fairness in the operation and administration of the lottery. We know the majority of our licensed retailers conduct their business with integrity and fairness. If you experience any of the violations detailed below, please call the Texas Lottery at 800-375-6886 to report the incident.

The Texas Lottery is very serious about violations of lottery laws and rules and it reviews every complaint. When complaints are found to be violations of lottery laws and rules, disciplinary action is taken against the retailer. Administrative penalties range from Warning Letters to License Suspension or Revocation. Additional penalties may include restitution. In some cases, criminal prosecution is pursued for individuals for violations of law.

Texas Lottery retailers go through a comprehensive training process to be licensed to sell lottery tickets. Over 1 billion lottery sales and validation transactions occur each year at lottery retail locations and the great majority of our 17,800+ sales agents take care to ensure honesty and fairness in their dealings with Texas Lottery customers. However, some retail locations may not always follow the laws and rules designed to protect the security and integrity of the lottery and its customers.

The following are lottery retailer violations that can occur:

  • Licensee fails to pay a valid prize the licensee is required to pay. When retailers and their employees validate a prizewinning ticket, they are required to pay the player the amount displayed on the terminal screen and on the two validation receipts (player and retailer copy) generated by the sales terminal. Players should receive the PLAYER COPY of the validation receipt along with their winnings to confirm the amount is correct.
  • Licensee and/or its employees exhibit discourteous treatment including, but not limited to abusive language toward customers, commission employees or commission vendors. You can expect to be treated courteously when you purchase or redeem lottery tickets or have questions about tickets, validation procedures or other lottery-related matters.
  • Licensee refuses or fails to sell lottery tickets during all normal business hours of the lottery retailer. If a lottery location is open for business, you can expect to be able to purchase lottery tickets. Draw games may not be available during draw breaks when the sale of specific draw games is suspended and additional times when technical issues or software downloads may prevent a retailer from selling draw games.
  • Licensee conditions redemption of a lottery prize upon the purchase of any other item or service. While retailers are not required to validate and pay lottery prizes, they are encouraged to do so and are authorized to pay prizes under $600. For retailers that choose to pay lottery prizes, the retailer is prohibited from requiring you to buy anything else, including another lottery ticket, before paying a valid prize.
  • Licensee sells a scratch ticket from a game that has closed after the date designated for the end of the game. A list of closed scratch ticket games and the dates they closed is available on the Texas Lottery’s website at txlottery.org.
  • Licensee intentionally or knowingly sells a ticket at a price the licensee knows is greater than the price fixed by the executive director [of the Texas Lottery]. You cannot be charged more than the face value price printed on the ticket. This rule includes transactions involving debit cards. Retailers may choose whether or not to accept debit cards for lottery transactions, but they cannot charge an additional fee for doing so.
  • Licensee refuses to and/or fails to properly cancel a Pick 3™ or Daily 4™ ticket. Retailers are authorized to cancel a Pick 3 or Daily 4 ticket provided that all the following conditions are met: 1) the retailer canceling the ticket is the retailer that sold the ticket; 2) cancellation must occur no later than 60 minutes after sale of the ticket; 3) ticket must be canceled before the beginning of the next draw break after the sale, and 4) cancellation must occur before midnight on the day the ticket was printed.

A complete list of lottery violations is available at http://texreg.sos.state.tx.us/fids/201501978-1.html .

WHAT STEPS CAN I TAKE AS A TEXAS LOTTERY RETAILER TO SAFEGUARD MY TICKETS AND HAVE THE BEST-SELLING EXPERIENCE POSSIBLE?

  • Maintain accurate inventory records including the Game #, Pack # and Ticket #.
  • Do not pay prizes on tickets that have not been validated properly through the terminal.
  • Do not pay a prize amount that is less than the prize amount indicated on the terminal and the validation receipt.
  • Provide all customers with their validation receipt (PLAYER COPY) for ticket validations that you perform.
  • Properly deface tickets for which a prize has been paid. Do not return tickets to players after you have paid a prize.
  • If you validate a ticket and are unable to pay the prize indicated, you must return the ticket to the player.
  • Report stolen tickets immediately to local law enforcement authorities and the IGT hotline at 800-458-0884. IGT hotline is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Be Aware of Lottery Scams

  • Criminals and con artists work constantly to develop new ways to cheat people. They steal your identity, Social Security number and financial data. Be cautious when dealing with strangers or unsolicited emails because it may be a scam intended to get your personal information.
  • The Texas Lottery does not ask for an advance payment or "good faith" money to claim a prize.
  • The Texas Lottery does not make unsolicited communications indicating that you have won a lottery prize when you have not submitted a claim or entry for a drawing. Only those players who have submitted a lottery claim or an entry for a "second chance" drawing to the Texas Lottery are eligible to win a prize.

Examples of common scams are listed below:

  • The Latin Lotto Scam gets its name because these con artists most commonly target Spanish-speaking residents who are often elderly; although these con artists may target anyone. Claiming to have a winning ticket, they request the "victim" help them claim the prize because they are in the country illegally and the lottery requires a Social Security number and prepayment of taxes. The scam commonly involves a second person - posing as a stranger to the first person – that walks by and "confirms" that the ticket is "valid." The scammers ask the victim to put up "good faith" money to pay the taxes and they will then share the prize with the victim. Of course, the scammers get away with the victim's good faith money and there is no prize to share. To learn more about the common Latin Lotto Scam, download the following flyers in English and Spanish.
    The Truth Report (PDF file)
    ¡Sepa La Verdad! (PDF file)
  • A stranger offers to sell you a "winning" ticket, maybe for less than the retail price of the ticket. The ticket is probably worthless because it is stolen; the prize has already been paid; or it has been altered to appear to be a winning ticket.
  • You receive an e-mail claiming to be from the "Texas Lottery Commission" or other lottery indicating that you have won a prize. This e-mail may state that in order to receive your prize, you must reply to the e-mail providing your personal information like name, Social Security number, and bank account number. The e-mail may also state that you need to pay a "processing fee". This scam sometimes involves using real Texas Lottery Commission employee names and fake e-mail addresses made to look legitimate. The Texas Lottery Commission may correspond with players via e-mail as a response to their submitted claim or "second chance" drawing entry, but will never ask for personal information to be sent via an e-mail. The Texas Lottery does not make unsolicited communications indicating that you have won a prize when you have not submitted a claim or entry for a "second chance" drawing.
  • You receive a letter with a foreign postmark and official looking documents claiming you are one of the winners of a foreign lottery. The letter states you must send bank account information and/or pay a processing fee to claim your prize. For additional information on international lottery scams and tips to avoid them, visit the Federal Trade Commission's website at http://www.ftc.gov/policy/international/international-consumer-protection.

In these examples, you (the "winner") never receive a penny and the criminals make off with your money and possibly your identity.

RESOURCES

Texas Lottery Resources:

Any suspicious activity involving Texas Lottery games or questions regarding the legitimacy of communications you received about lottery prizes or claims can be reported to the Texas Lottery Commission at 800-375-6886 or by e-mail at customer.service@lottery.state.tx.us .

Other Resources:

Suspicious lottery e-mails can be reported to the Federal Trade Commission's Bureau of Consumer Protection at www.ftc.gov or call 1-877-FTC-HELP. You can also report unsolicited commercial e-mails to the FTC at spam@uce.gov.

Suspicious lottery mail appearing to be lottery material from a foreign country can be reported to your local postmaster or by contacting your local US Postal Inspection Office.

Additional information on lotteries and sweepstakes is available from the Attorney General of Texas at https://www.texasattorneygeneral.gov/seniors/lotteries-sweepstakes

Consumer complaints can also be filed with the Texas Attorney General's Consumer Protection Hotline at 800-621-0508. Written complaints can be made online at https://texasattorneygeneral.gov/cpd/file-a-consumer-complaint .

If you think you are the victim of an Internet related crime, contact the Internet Crime Complaint Center at http://www.ic3.gov/complaint/default.aspx .

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