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May 19, 2017

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Hi again, Lisa. The situation you're describing is caused when a particular combination of numbers sells out in the Pick 3 and Pick 4 games. That restriction has always been in place in the games, so since 1998 in Pick 3 and since 2009 in Pick 4. Any state that offers a Pick 3 or Pick 4 game has the limitation in place. We've written about it several times through the years. Below is a link to a blog entry we posted back in 2009 when the combinations 9-9-9 and 9-9-0-9 sold out on Sept. 9, 2009. The same thing happened with 7-7-7 and 7-7-0-7 on July 7, 2007. A lot of times the particular combination that sells out is tied to a date, but other times, the reason behind the popularity of a combination may not be as clear. They do happen from time to time.
http://www.ialotteryblog.com/2009/09/yesterdays-date-caused-lottery-sellouts.html

Lets Be Clear Here! The Current Scam going on is with the Iowa Lottery. I was told that I have to get my tickets prior to 11:58 Am on the play slips on the website to play pick four and pick 3 tickets. Today at 11"30 Am at Cahseys in North Liberty Iowa I was denied the right to purchase my numbers 9852 on the grounds that the lottery had already sold that number and wasn't allowed for me to purchase it. I was told before by the Iowa Lottery that I have to make sure to avoid issues at the machine towards draw time and to come in at least 30 minutes prior now today I am being told by the Iowa lottery if I want to secure a number set I need to buy it days in advance. Where do you see a the sales desk at the site of selling that you won[t be able to buy any number you want, where on the play card does it state clearly if you don't choose a particular set of numbers by a certain time you won't be able to purchase it. Where is the people who sell lottery tickets informed that customers are NOT ABLE TO BUY ALL NUMBERS when they want? Where is any of this information posted at the sale counter Iowa Lottery. All I can say is it is 12:13 PM on 5'24'2017 and I was denied the right to purchase a lottery ticket thirty minutes prior to lottery sale time. So if you are a hopeful sole out there hoping to catch those millions from the Iowa lottery you better get your numbers in days in advance to assure the machine does not run out of numbers or ability to sale you a ticket! Posted by Lisa Newell

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Mary N
As the lottery’s vice president of external relations, I’m a member of the senior management team at the Iowa Lottery, where I’ve worked since 1999. I’ve spent my years at the lottery learning as much as I can about all the ins and outs of the lottery industry. I’ll put that knowledge to work here so I can share the behind-the-scenes details with you!