Lottery barcode proves NC ticket was fake winner


STATESVILLE, NC (WNCN) – A long-haul trucker who purchased a lottery ticket while driving through North Carolina thought he had won a lot of money, but although the ticket looked like a winner, the barcode did not agree.

Florida’s James Kinard had stopped in Statesville and decided to play the 50X multiplier game, part of the North Carolina Education Lottery’s family of “fast progressive games”. In such games, tickets are printed immediately with possible winning numbers, allowing players to instantly verify the winners.

“I didn’t look at my ticket right away,” Kinard said. But after a few days on the road, he pulled out the 50X multiplier game and decided to check it out.

“I became happy and said, ‘Hey, hey, hey! … Thank God ! said Kinard.

What Kinard saw among the possible winning numbers was number 3. When he checked to see if there were any that matched, he saw another 3.

“I see there was $500 under the 3. That’s a 50 times multiplier, so by my calculations it’s $25,000,” he said.

When he tried to cash the note, however, the barcode alerted the clerk that something was wrong.

“She looks at it and says, ‘Hmm, that’s supposed to be a winner, but it’s not sweeping like a winner,'” Kinard said.

(NC Education Lottery)

The Asheville Lottery office has been notified of the problem. The officials made a copy of the ticket and gave it to Kinard. They kept the original.

“They told me they had put the ticket back together and they couldn’t tell if there should be a number in front of the 3,” he said.

Kinard said the outlet where he purchased the ticket had difficulty printing it and had to change printer rolls when purchasing. This left a black mark running the length of the ticket on the left side, as seen in the printed copy. This mark also turned out to be the key to the mystery.

“It’s something in the printer,” Kinard said. “[The ticket] was not torn or damaged at all.”

In a written statement, lottery spokesman Van Denton offered an explanation of what happened after the lottery conducted a second review of the ticket.

“The black line that unfortunately runs along the side of the ticket obscures the first winning number and makes it appear as a ‘3’,” Denton said.

Denton added that the line caused a stain that cut off parts of the print along the length of the note. The barcode remained intact, so a scan confirmed it was a non-winning ticket.

“The lottery certainly understands Mr. Kinard’s question about this ticket. We regret that the printing issue created the impression of a winning ticket when it was not,” Denton wrote. “The lottery would gladly pay a prize to Mr. Kinard if the review determined that he was a legitimate winning ticket.”

Denton said it’s not uncommon for players to present damaged tickets to the lottery. He said the lottery conducts around 30 examinations a month to verify, adding that damaged tickets can be reconstructed.

“If we can determine a ticket is a winner, we pay the price,” Denton wrote. “Ticket reconstructions have paid prices ranging from $1 million to $1 million.”

He added, “The lottery doesn’t like to refuse to pay out prizes, but can only pay out prizes actually won in order to have the funds to pay for winning tickets and provide the funds to support education in Carolina. North.”


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