Have you ever been so hungry that you’ll eat whatever you can find in the vending machine? You put your money in, punch in the number for the item you want, and out pops a little bag of pretzels. Or if you’re unlucky like me, the bag gets caught on the little arm instead of dropping to the bottom, and you’re left hungry and out a buck.
It’s a great analogy for what sometimes happens at our Ohio Lottery vending machines. The same kind of self-service technology that allows you to buy a pop or a snack from a vending machine allows Ohio Lottery players to buy lottery tickets from a vending machine. You put the money in, press a button for the instant ticket you want and in seconds you’ve got what could be a winning ticket in your hands. However, technology can have its quirks. Sometimes a vending machine will cut the ticket incorrectly, separating the bar code used to validate the ticket from the play area.
Ohio Lottery procedures require customers to present a complete ticket, including the bar code and the entire ticket play area, in order to validate and cash the ticket.
So, what do you do if you get a cut ticket? First, ask the retailer for a new ticket.
If you have already scratched the play area and you’re a winner, you should ask the retailer for a claim form. Check the inquiry box at the top of the claim form and mail the form and the ticket to the Ohio Lottery. The Lottery will investigate and follow up with you.
The Ohio Lottery wants to make every effort to pay the rightful winning customer. I wish the same could be said for all of the vending machines that ate my money and kept my bag of pretzels!