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March 29, 2019


Thanks so much for looking into this, Mary! Keep up the good work!

Hi again, Mark! I’ve been able to review details this morning about both of the games you referenced. In regards to the “$” game, there are titles for each image. They’re in the upper right hand of the play area for each symbol. For example, I’m looking at a strawberry symbol in the game’s play area, and right beside it is the word “strawberry,” running perpendicular to the symbol. The star symbol has the word “star” beside it, the clover has the word “clover,” etc. If one of the winning symbols is in the play area on the ticket, the word printed beside the symbol will be “WIN,” “WIN5X,” or “WINALL,” depending upon the exact circumstance involved. And in the “3-2-Won!” game, the whole point of the game’s name is that each of the eight boxes in the play area is a separate game containing three symbols. If the player uncovers two like symbols in a game, they win the prize amount shown. If the player uncovers three like symbols in a game, they win triple the corresponding prize amount. If the player were only the scratch the top two symbols, they wouldn’t see the prize amount, so they’d have no idea what they had won. They find that by scratching the line below. We do our best to come up with new game ideas and play styles so we’re not just doing the same old thing when we release games. And you’re right: Players can check their tickets to double-check whether they’ve won a prize. We have self-checkers in nearly all of our retail locations in Iowa, and the Iowa Lottery’s app that you can put on your mobile device lets you check your tickets wherever you are. I hope this background as helped!

Hi, Mark. We do our best to design our games to be easy to understand and fun to play. I will check with our game-planning team about the questions you have and post another reply when I have more details I can share.

Hi Mary! My comment has not to do with this post, but with the new HD ticket that was just issued yesterday, and also another ticket issued yesterday.

The "$" ticket issued is the first ticket that the Iowa Lottery has released that requires the player to ONLY match using an image- there are NO titles on each image, as before- nor are there any clues like the word "win", "win 5x", or "win all", as before.

And, the 3-2-Won! ticket is designed to confuse the player- where you can match two or three symbols (as long as you read the rules), most players will scratch straight across, and see no matches (in the two symbols scratched), and think it is not a winner. Not thinking that there is a THIRD symbol, hiding down below beside the dollar amount.

I don't want to believe this, but I think that the Iowa Lottery is PURPOSEFULLY trying to confuse the player- and making it harder to realize that the player has a winning ticket. I hope I am wrong, and this is just a misstep in design.

I know that players can always check their winning tickets, but in reality most do not read the instructions for playing, and I for one will be searching the trash for tickets not played completely.

Mark Chandler

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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!