More than 400 people have cashed out Hoosier Lottery tickets after a production error made everyone a winner. But about a third of the ticketholders haven’t claimed their money yet.
Lottery tickets have a bar code identifying which ones are winners. The lottery pulled the plug on the Fast Play Golden Jackpot game after what should have been 600 losing tickets had the winning numbers on them. The lottery announced in March it would pay off on those tickets. People who bought one before the lottery discovered the foul-up have until mid-September to claim their five-thousand-dollar prize.
Lottery director Sarah Taylor says people who threw away their tickets after being told the tickets were losers can file a sworn statement that they really did buy them. The affidavit form is available on the Hoosier Lottery website. The lottery will review those affidavits all at once after the claim deadline passes. Legal affairs director Chuck Taylor says that’ll allow the lottery to avoid double-paying claims, where one person submits an affidavit but another produces the actual ticket. After that, the lottery will confirm tickets wee bought at the time and place vouched for in the statement.
22 people have already submitted affidavits.
If every ticketholder submits a claim, it’ll cost the lottery three-point-one-million dollars to settle up. Sarah Taylor says the lottery expects to recoup some or all that money from the contractor which prints the tickets.
Nine people who have turned in tickets have had their claims rejected. State law blocks payouts to lottery players who are underage, and winners who owe child support, taxes, or other debts to the state can have their prizes seized to cover the debt. Taylor says she doesn’t know which clause of the law prompted the denials.