Some Lottery officials are encouraging customers to sign the back of their tickets after two convenience store clerks in Wisconsin were charged with stealing winning tickets. The charges followed a sting operation by state agents to see if retailers were pocketing the tickets people brought in for verification.
A lottery official in Iowa says while no fraud has been uncovered in Nebraska, customers should protect themselves by signing tickets before having them checked. The moment you sign the ticket, it identifies that ticket as belonging to you. If you were to win a big prize and somehow the ticket got out of your possession, when your name is on the back, someone else isn’t going to be able to claim it.
The attempted theft charges filed in Wisconsin came just days before three convenience store employees in Washington state were convicted of fraud in another lottery sting.
Undercover agents will go in with winning tickets ranging from $30 to $5,000 and present them to the clerk just like they’re a customer and just wait to see what happens. In Wisconsin and Washington state, the clerks allegedly kept the tickets.
The Iowa lottery Official added the requirement that customers sign tickets after concerns were raised about security following problems in Canada. Customers are encouraged to take another step to protect themselves by checking numbers on-line or in the newspaper to see if they have winning numbers. Nebraska does not have a requirement to have tickets signed when having them checked with a clerk, but it is encouraged.