You Can't Cheat the Lottery

The ways in which people attempt to cheat the lottery
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You Can't Cheat the Lottery
  • Author:
    William Monroe
  • Published:

You might think that many people try to cheat the lottery on a daily basis, but it isn’t as bad as that. However, every now and then, somebody or some group, tries to come up with a way to ensure they get the jackpots and not anyone else. Some succeed and some fail. But all get caught in the end and suffer the consequences of their actions.

There are two different ways cheating can be attempted. One is by those who have some type of connection to the inner workings of the lottery. The other is by players themselves. You might think that players would be the only ones who would try to cheat. But due to the high jackpots that some lotteries have, there have been those who work in the gaming industry who try to tip the scales in their own favour. Now just how would these cheats go about doing their business?

Insider cheating

When someone connected to the lottery tries to use illegal means to win or influence the outcome of a lottery draw, this is called insider cheating. This would be anyone from the manufacturer of the blowers or balls, to the gaming regulator and operator, right down to the retailers themselves.

For instance, a lottery’s Random Number Generator program must be assessed by a technician to ensure that it complies with the minimum regulations that ensure a truly random result before the program can be used for live draws. That technician could, with the right smarts, alter the program to provide a specific series of numbers at a specific time on a specific date. Or could change the odds of winning the jackpot from 30 million to 1 to 10 to 1. Similar things have been done in the past and those people were always caught.

Inside workers of operators and regulators are exposed to the ways in identifying forged or altered lottery tickets. On the other side of this, they learn how to forge or alter tickets and can create ways to make such tickets undetectable. So an insider could create an altered/forged ticket and get a non-insider to cash it in. Since the insider created the ticket, it would more than likely pass inspection.

Surprisingly, the majority of insider cheating has happened with lottery retailers. The retailer will check a ticket for a customer and announce that the ticket is not a winner. The retailer then keeps the ticket and has a friend or family member cash in the ticket for them. This works well with unsigned tickets. Other versions could be purchasing tickets from other retailers as a way of hedging odds, and altering tickets to make them seem like winners.

Player cheating

This is where the player themselves are trying to claim a prize in which they either influence the outcome or present a ticket that is not a legitimate winner in some fashion. Although this type of cheating is not very common, it does happen on occasion.

Sometimes a player will try to cover a number on a non-winning ticket with a number cut from another ticket, or alter the number or numbers in a small way, to produce what looks like a ticket with a winning combination. Upon verification, it is flagged as a non-winning ticket. Now, with the system saying it is a non-winner, but the numbers on the ticket showing it “clearly” is, an investigation is launched and if the ticket is altered very well, it may pass scrutiny and most operators will err on the side of the customer and pay it out.

With all these cheating methods discovered and prosecuted, the gaming industry has now implemented extreme measures and redundant checks, balances, and audio and video recording to ensure every draw is one hundred percent honest and proper and every winning ticket is a true ticket that is validated properly, and that every customer is vetted before payment can be made.

As technology grows, more anti-cheating measures will be implemented so that every player can be assured that not only will every draw be totally honest but that every legitimate winner will receive their prize and every cheat will be caught and punished.

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