We’ve gotten questions this week from a couple of players who thought they’d won bigger prizes than they actually had, and wondered what they had missed on their tickets. They were playing a “Crossword” scratch ticket and one of the games in “The Lucky Game Book” scratch ticket.
In both instances, the players mistakenly thought that if they completed just part of a word, they could still claim the prize involved.
The first inquiry came from a central-Iowa woman who had played the $100,000 Mega Crossword game. You can see in the picture of her ticket that she had completed the letters S-T-I-C-K within the word YARDSTICK. Now, “stick” obviously is a word on its own, but it was not the complete word on her ticket, so it didn’t count. We’ve included a picture of the instructions for that game, which note that “words within words are not eligible” to win a prize. The woman thought that with that word added in, she should have won $60, but in the end, she had won a $20 prize.
The other inquiry came from a man in eastern Iowa who wondered if he had won multiple prizes on his Lucky Game Book ticket. If you’ve played a Game Book ticket, you know that it has six pages of games in it, and his questions were about the Lucky Letters game. You can see in the picture of the man’s ticket that he had completed the letters R-O-N within the word IRON; the letters H-A-M within the word HAMSTER; and the letters B-A-C-K within the word BACKYARD; and wondered if he should have won a prize on each of those lines. And again, while each of those are words, but they were not the complete play word on that line.
And to follow the argument of words within words, there would not have been 14 play words in the play area on the man’s ticket, but 17. In that same vein of thinking, the letter “A” on its own is a word, as in: Here is a soda. “I” also is a word, as in: I am here. Would you argue that you should win a prize every time that “A” or “I” appears in that game? Perhaps someone would try to make that argument, but in that scenario, the number of play words in the play area would increase from 14 to a number far, far larger than that.
That scenario also would give different players a different number of chances to win, simply because of the letters that happened to be printed on their ticket. And that would be unfair.
The man had won a $20 prize on a different page of his Lucky Game Book ticket, so he also got a prize check from us along with a letter explaining that words within words aren’t eligible for a prize.