National Lottery: on some scratchcards it’s impossible to win top prizes

Trigger Finger

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#1
The National Lottery’s blue “Millionaire 7s” scratchcard game, which costs £5 a go, boasts of “six top prizes of £1m”. But if you go and buy one today, the shopkeeper probably won’t tell you that all six £1m jackpots have already been snapped up.

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Meanwhile, the Camelot-owned lottery’s £250,000 Gold game, which costs £2, tells buyers there are 15 top prizes of £250,000 – but the reality is that 14 of them have already been nabbed by other people.

And the Cash Vault scratchcard, costing £3, says there are four top prizes of £275,000, but as of this week, there was only one left.


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We know this because the Lottery publishes a regularly updated list on its website of all the live scratchcard games and how many top prizes each one has left.

What may surprise some people is that it is allowed to carry on selling scratchcards even when all the advertised jackpots have been won.

The National Lottery says that over time, the number of prizes available in each category will reduce, adding: “Once the last top prize has been validated, retailers will be allowed to continue selling those scratchcards that have already been activated for sale, and any unactivated scratchcard stock will be withdrawn.” In terms of the Millionaire 7s game, The National Lottery says no new packs of these can be put on sale – only scratchcards that are already on display can be sold.

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Absolutelly Energy

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#2
Not exactly surprising for a lottery. The best prizes are sometimes gone because it's a lottery. Yes selling them after carries the false promise of a big win. What should the operators do, recall the entire show when the biggest prizes are gone? Maybe they should then be sold at a lower price instead to be fair to punters.
 

Alex Budkiss

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#4
There’s actually a precedent on this. It involved a guy who bought a raffle ticket, and to add drama the operators did the draw backwards. He was drawn first and came third and argued successfully that he had entered the draw for a chance to win the top prize, although he had been denied the chance by being removed from the draw.
I’m not certain what the damages were, but on loss of chance principles it would be the value of the lost chance of winning, say, a giant teddy bear!
 

Pharaons Tomb

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#5
Up to date information on number of prizes, amounts and how many of each are left should be available (prominently) at point of sale. They should also include the number of tickers left so you can work out the chances of getting any prize at that point in time.
 

Trigger Finger

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#6
Up to date information on number of prizes, amounts and how many of each are left should be available (prominently) at point of sale. They should also include the number of tickers left so you can work out the chances of getting any prize at that point in time.
That doesn’t seem very practical. That’s a lot of info to display and update for what is a small area of any shop (and would become a pain in the posterior for any small shop)
 

Absolutelly Energy

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#7
They could use that useless screen that many of them have near the scratchcard rack. Display and update can be done digitally and updated through the Internet these days. No need for a blackboard and chalk for the time-poor shop assistant.
 

Red Green Blue

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#8
You forget that some people win and put their winning card to one side as they're shocked...
My aunt won £5k on a £1 scratchcard and left it in a drawer because she got scared (she was 83 and never had anything near that amount before), it was only when her care assistant saw it that anyone knew about it - she'd had it for about 6 months apparently.
 

Alex Budkiss

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#9
I can understand the comment, but why unethical and why obviously? If the previous winners are published, there is nothing to stop any customer checking the current situation before purchase. And I assume that there is still a chance of winning a smaller spot prize.
 

Pharaons Tomb

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#10
Not just unethical, also breaks ASA rules so any promotion or advertising should be banned after advertised jackpot is gone.
The "everyone should check the website to see if claims made in adverts and on packs are still true" does not cut it!
 

Online Casino Dealer

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#11
It actually makes sense and is entirely logical, otherwise the whole lottery model wouldn't work.
Just as a simple example, if the lottery needed to give 50% of takings to charity then to fund a game with a $1,000,000 jackpot they need to sell 200,000 x $10 tickets.
When someone wins the jackpot after only 200 tickets have been sold, but they were forced to close the game, then the lottery suffers a heavy loss, and the charity gets nothing. They have to sell every ticket to make the books balance, regardless of whether the jackpot has been won.
It's maths and to be honest anyone betting anything should really understand that.
 

Absolutelly Energy

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#12
I don't think there is, my spending is down to me, not the banks. I don't need some paternalistic bank deciding what I can and can't spend my money on.
 

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