Sunday, October 18, 2020

Scratch THAT! If a Winner is Uncovered in a Dark Basement Lair, and the Barcode Isn't There, Does Anybody Pay It?

Like a tree falling in an uninhabited forest, there are likely to be multiple answers to the title question. Technically, my winning scratcher HAS a barcode. But nobody can read the barcode. It's hard to explain. So here's a picture.

This is the new Missouri Lottery $5 ticket, Holiday Cash. It came out last week. It's a SEE-THROUGH ticket. Made of that flexible plastic that reminds me of the stuff holding up the collar in a man's new shirt package. This is about the fourth ticket I've had. They have differing degrees of scratchability. The first one was kind of gummy. The other two were fine. This one was nearly impossible to scratch. You can see my struggles. As you know, I am NOT a novice scratcher. I always do my scratching at home, on my lair desk, with the same quarter (my LUCKY quarter, heh, heh).
The barcode at the bottom is the part you scan to check your winners on a phone app. And the part the store checks on their terminal to pay you for a winner. When it became clear (heh, heh, how ironic, for my CLEAR ticket) that the barcode was not going to reveal itself... I wasn't worried. There's still the line of numbers above the barcode that you can punch in for the same purpose. Except NOT. Not on this ticket.
You might imagine my frustration, because this ticket was a $25 winner! CLEARLY, you can see the STAR symbol, with a prize of $5. The STAR symbol means 5X your prize amount.
  This ticket came from the Gas Station Chicken Store on Friday. So I took it in on Saturday, hoping maybe the owners would be around. I saw the Man Owner's car out front, but he was not within the public portion of the store. I explained to the clerk, who is my favorite who waits on me daily. She tried the terminal, which rejected the ticket, just like my phone app. She picked up a nickel and tried scratching for herself, but only succeeded in smearing it darker.
I knew the clerk wouldn't have the authority to pay me, just from looking at the symbol alone. I thought maybe an owner could make that decision. I figure they have to send in their cash-out tickets from the terminal, to be reimbursed for winners. So maybe they could send this in with their stuff for reimbursement. 
That's a moot point now, since owners weren't available. I'll mail in this ticket with an explanation, and hopefully the Missouri Lottery will send me a check for $25. I don't see how they can deny payment, when a winner is CLEARLY showing!
The back of the ticket has a couple of barcodes, and some numbers for identifying information. Surely the Missouri Lottery has a way of determining the legitimacy of my win! I know an everyday person can't just scan those back codes to see if the ticket is a winner. Otherwise, there would be no convenience store clerks, because THEY WOULD BUY ALL THE BIG WINNERS FOR THEMSELVES!
Tomorrow, there's a little more to this story, though it doesn't have anything to do with the validity of my ticket...


  1. You are mailing it in? If it were Jersey it would be someone...but you would never know.

    1. I mailed it today. A process which led to another story I may or may not tell here. Not a big deal. But it seems that like Tina Turner and Ike, Val can never, ever, do anything nice and easy.

      I could have sent it to you in Jersey, in exchange for your state's signature DIRTY WATER COCKTAIL, which is probably a hazard to ship through the mail. Oh, wait! No it isn't, due to the low-to-NO alcohol content.

  2. Is it possible the barcode has a peel-off sticker instead of a scratch off? I had a peel-off on something once that I thought should be scratched off and it made a horrible mess, then I noticed a teeny corner sticking up from where I'd scratched, so I peeled at it and revealed the number. I think it was a gift card of some type and I had to reveal the PIN.

    1. I WISH! That would have been a simple solution. But no, it's the same as usual. The other tickets of this kind had the normal barcode scratching area.

      I've had this gummy problem before, with the Kansas City Chiefs ticket last summer. Strangely (or not) enough, they were also a red/maroon color. The green and blue version of this Holiday Cash scratched easily.

  3. Tomorrow is another day. Hopefully your ship will come in.

  4. Replies
    1. Of course it would be a WINNER that had the scratching problem. Otherwise, it would only have prevented me from entering that ticket in a second-chance drawing.