Texas Lottery misled players in scratch-off game, lawsuit claims

A group of Texas lottery players who thought they struck it rich in a scratch-off game say the state unfairly deceived them in ambiguous language on the game card.

The Houston Chronicle reported that the players seek $10 million from the Texas Lotto Commission.

The controversy occurred in the game called "Fun 5's." The small print on the card reportedly says "reveal three "5" symbols in one row, column or diagonal, win PRIZE in PRIZE box. Reveal a money bag symbol in the 5x box, win 5 times that PRIZE."

It is the second sentence that appears to be confusing players.

The lotto commission, however, told the paper in an email that the sentence "Reveal a Money Bag symbol in the 5x BOX, win 5 times that PRIZE," describes how to multiply a winning ticket. Simply having a money bag next to a winning amount is not a winner.

A reporter for KENS5.com played the scratch-off game and got the money bag in the 5x box. He said he thought he won $5,000, but when he went to check the ticket, learned he was not a winner.

Some of those mentioned in the lawsuit believed they won $500,000; others believed that any of those sequences would result in a win. But when they took their ticket up to the cashier to be scanned, they learned they did not win.

"What [Texas Lottery] is doing is down-right cruel," Dawn Nettles, who works at a lotto watchdog website, told the paper. "[Texas Lottery] is trying to convince everyone that they're reading it wrong and that's BS," Nettles said.

"They are out there selling a product that is deceptive."