A player from northeast Iowa emailed us with a question that made us so sad about the lottery ticket she’d bought, because there was no way for us to help her. The same thing could happen to you, so please learn from her situation.
The woman said she bought a scratch ticket at a convenience store in Waterloo on her way to work. She didn’t play it right away, and continued on her way. When she arrived at work, she noticed that her purse must have fallen open at some point, and her ticket was gone.
The woman said she went back to look for the ticket, but she never found it. Because she didn’t know whether it had won a prize, she wondered if by letting us know that she had lost it, she could somehow have a claim to any prize if someone else later claimed it.
The woman said she hadn’t signed her ticket when she bought it, and that’s a key point. A lottery ticket without a signature on it is like a blank check. In legal terms, it’s what is known as a bearer instrument, meaning that the person bearing it is considered the owner.
That is why we urge our players to sign the back of their tickets as soon as they buy them. When you sign your ticket, you identify it – and any prize you may win – as belonging to you. It may seem like something that doesn’t matter, but this woman’s story unfortunately illustrates why it’s so important.