A couple of callers to CapeTalk radio station the other night (16th July) warned the public to check their Lotto cards - both when submitting their numbers and also when checking if it was a winning card. The allegedly faulty readers were blamed on the poor servicing of the machines causing the barcode readers to misread the cards and tickets. This means that if your local store's machine has this problem then you and I could be badly affected and contribute to the unclaimed funds.
The barcodes are used at the start and end of the Lotto process ie: when you choose your numbers and when you check if you are a winner!
So, say you choose numbers 1,2,3,4,5,6... the allegedly inaccurate barcode readers might register 11,2,3,4,5,6 (or whatever, but not what you wanted)... then again, when you check your card for winners.. if the winning numbers are 1,2,3,4,5,6.... it might read your card as 11,2,3,4,5,6 and you could lose out on winning millions!!!!
The first caller told of her experience: she was pretty sure her ticket was a winning ticket and took it to the local store for cashing in... but when it was passed through the barcode reader there was no winning flagged :( So, she went home (with her ticket luckily) and checked the newspaper again. Sure enough it was definitely a winning ticket - so she went back to the store. She was again told that it was not a winner. She then insisted that the teller punch in the numbers into the machine manually. Sure enough the ticket was then "seen" as a winner!
A second caller was a Lotto vendor and also agreed with the first caller and added a further "twist" - saying that a few clients had also complained that the readers were inputting incorrect numbers ie: the six numbers scribbled into the input form were not read correctly and so not entered onto the official ticket correctly. So, this had to be redone manually. The vendor also complained that the machines were not serviced often enough.
So, some advice from HTT:
1) Make sure that the numbers that you scribble onto the card are in fact on your official ticket - the ticket is what counts when it comes to winning the money.
2) After the draw, check your ticket against the winning numbers (don't rely on the barcode reader to tell you if you're a winner)
3) If the teller says you're not a winner then take the "losing" ticket with you - don't leave it with the teller to (perhaps) manually enter the numbers later (and claim the prize for him/herself)
Use HTT's Lotto calculator: Check your past Lotto and LottoPlus tickets against all the past draws
Perhaps this is why there are so many unclaimed prizes - please add your comment below and let us know if this problem really exists and how widespread it is.
Saturday, 18 July 2009
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