Player Security

PLAYER SECURITY

Keeping the Lottery fun means knowing the rules. The Arizona Lottery is committed to conducting our games in a secure manner with integrity and fairness. We are also committed to the responsible sale and play of its games.

We all need to protect ourselves against the possibility of fraud and double-check the information we receive. Following a few easy reminders can help us all protect ourselves. Listed above are links to valuable security information.

The Right Way To Play

Here are some important things to know before you buy a Lottery ticket:
Know the Rules

ID, Please
You must be at least 21 years old and be able to present a valid form of identification to purchase or redeem Lottery tickets.

Game Information

How-to-Play information can be found on your ticket, the Lottery's website on the GAMES page, at any Lottery retailer, the Lottery's Player Hotline at (480) 829-PICK (7425) in Phoenix, or (800-499-3798) in all other areas.

The Odds
The overall odds of winning are printed on all Scratcher tickets. Odds for each prize level, as well as number of prizes remaining, are available by clicking on the individual game on the SCRATCHERS page.

Games Ended

Information about Scratchers game-end dates and the final date to redeem prizes are posted on the SCRATCHERS ENDING DATES page. The final date to redeem a winning ticket for an on-line game is 180 days from the drawing. To obtain specific information, click on the appropriate game icon on the website and then click on "View past winning numbers."

Accepted Forms of Payment
Accepted forms of payment vary and are at the discretion of the individual retailer. The Phoenix and Tucson Office Claims Stores only accept cash and business checks upon approval.

Purchase in Person
Lottery tickets cannot be bought over the phone, by mail, or Internet. Buy tickets only from authorized retailers. There are over 2,800 licensed retailers across the state of Arizona. Never play a lottery (foreign or otherwise) by phone, mail, or Internet. It is against the law and increases your risk of falling victim to a scam.

Beware of Scams

• Beware of any prize notice (by letter, email, or phone call) for a contest or lottery you never entered. Simply put, if you didn't buy a lottery ticket, there is no possible way of winning.
• Do not give your personal, credit card, or banking information to anyone claiming that you've won a prize. The perpetrators can use this information for identity and monetary theft.
• Never pay processing, insurance, or commissions to claim or receive a prize. Legitimate lotteries do not require winners to pay anything upfront to collect a prize.
• Beware of the "Pigeon Drop Scam". It works as follows: Suspects usually approach older individuals, especially older Hispanic people, and claim to have a winning lottery ticket. The suspects say they can't redeem the ticket because they are illegal immigrants. Victims of this scam are asked to put up 'good faith' money, which the perpetrators say they will return with additional payment after the prize is paid.

Protect Yourself

• Arizona residency or U.S. citizenship is not necessary to claim prizes.
• The Arizona Lottery never confirms tickets over the phone.
• If you are approached about a winning ticket you never purchased, give NO personal information. Get as much information as possible and decline the offer. (See 'Report Your Suspicions' section below.)

Report Your Suspicions to:
Arizona Lottery Investigations Unit
4740 East University Drive
Phoenix, AZ 85034
480-921-4486
[email protected]

Phoenix Office of the Attorney General
(Consumer Information and Complaints)
1275 W. Washington
Phoenix, AZ 85007-2926
602-542-5763
1-800-352-8431

Tucson Office of the Attorney General
400 W. Congress, South Building, Suite 315
Tucson, AZ 85701-1367
520-628-6504

The Federal Trade Commission
1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357)
Or online at www.ftc.gov

More Tips

Double-check your purchase
When the clerk gives you your tickets, immediately check them to be sure you got what you ordered. Count them and check the numbers.

Grab a pen
Immediately upon purchase, sign your name on the back of your ticket. The signature on the back of the ticket determines ownership.

Did I win?

When a retailer validates your ticket, if it is a winner, the machine will play "We're in the Money". If the terminal includes a digital display screen, the amount won will also appear on the screen.

I Won! What Now?
All Arizona Lottery retailers will redeem prizes up to $100 and may redeem prizes up to $599. Any prize can be claimed in person at the Phoenix or Tucson office or by mailing your signed ticket to: Arizona Lottery, Box 2913, Phoenix, AZ 85062-2913. A claim form (available at retailers and downloadable from our website) must be completed for winning prizes of $600 or more.

By mail, to claim winnings of $600 or more, you must send the following: the original ticket with back of ticket filled in and signed, a completed claim form and a photocopy of picture identification. Keep copies for your records. Send the ticket(s) to: Arizona Lottery, Box 2913, Phoenix, AZ 85062-2913.

Be Wise!

Play Responsibly. Confidential help is available.
Problem Gambling
www.problemgambling.az.gov

Sign Your Ticket

Immediately upon purchase, sign your name on the back of your ticket.
• Players are responsible for checking the accuracy of tickets before leaving the store, and for determining whether a ticket is a winner.
• If you believe you have won, and the terminal rejects, or a retailer disputes the validity of your prize claim, you may submit your claim directly to the Arizona Lottery for review.
• All risks of redeeming the ticket remain with the player.

If you have any questions about signing your ticket, please see the Frequently Asked Questions below:

May players use a pencil to sign their ticket?
Yes. Any writing instrument is fine, but it is recommended that players sign their tickets in ink. Unlike pencil, most ink types cannot easily be erased.

May players use a signature stamp to sign their ticket?
No. The ticket must bear an original signature.

May players use a mailing label/postage sticker to sign their ticket?
No. A mailing label is not a signature.

Do players have to use their real name?
Yes. When players use their real name, it ensures they are the rightful owner of the ticket.

Does a player's name have to be legible?
Players should sign the back of the ticket in the same way they would sign a check or any other legal document.

May players use their initials only to sign the ticket?
No. Players should sign the back of the ticket in the same way they would sign a check or any other legal document.

May players use their first initial and full last name to sign the ticket?
Yes. Players should sign the back of the ticket in the same way they would sign a check or any other legal document.

If players mail their tickets to the Lottery, do they have to be signed?
Yes. All tickets need to be signed. By signing the ticket, players ensure they are the rightful owner of the ticket.

If a group of players purchase tickets together, do all the members have to sign the ticket?
No. The players must designate one person to sign the ticket on behalf of the group. (The Lottery encourages the designated player to sign his/her name along with the group's name. For example, John Smith on behalf of The Lucky 9.).

Does the person signing the ticket have to be 21 or older?
Yes. In Arizona, a player must be 21 or older to purchase or redeem Lottery tickets.

Will players be notified when a ticket is validated as a winner?

If the ticket is a winner, the terminal will play the tune "We're in the Money". If the terminal includes a display screen, the amount won will also appear on the screen. (If the ticket is not a winner, that information will also be displayed on the screen.)

Security Tips at Retail Level

The first line of defense in consumer protection is always for players to arm themselves with the information they need to determine whether their ticket has won a prize. That's much the same thing we all should be doing to ensure, for example, that a clerk has given us the proper change or that the milk we bought at the local store rang up for the right price.

There are many ways that you can check to see if your ticket has won a prize, and we encourage you to use multiple sources of information for verification:

Check the information on the Lottery website.

• Ask retailers to print out winning numbers from the Lottery terminal.
• Use the "ticket checkers" and Lottery Express machines available at retailer locations. Many Arizona Lottery retailers are equipped with a ticket checker that allows players to self-check their tickets without any clerk involvement. To use a ticket checker, simply place the barcode of your ticket under the red light until you hear a beep. For on-line tickets, this is the barcode on the bottom of the ticket.
• Call an Arizona Lottery Office for information (in Phoenix, 480-921-4400; in Tucson, 520-628-5107) or call the Lottery's Player Hotline at (480) 829-PICK (7425) in Phoenix or (800-499-3798) in all other areas.

(The Arizona State Lottery official audited records of the numbers that were drawn will determine the winner rather than the numbers televised or published on the web.)

We believe there is no substitute for player responsibility and player diligence despite all the assistance that we can provide. Listed below are some other suggestions to keep our games fun and safe:

• Immediately upon purchase, sign the back of your ticket. This can help prevent someone from trying to cash it in the event it becomes lost or stolen. If your ticket is lost or stolen, report the matter to the Lottery Investigations Unit and your local police or sheriff's office.
• Double-check your purchase. When the clerk gives you your tickets, immediately check them before you leave to be sure you got what you ordered. If you select your own numbers or use a play slip, always check your tickets at the time of purchase to make sure the numbers on them match the numbers you selected.
• Protect yourself by determining on your own whether your ticket has won a prize before you present it to be validated. If you disagree with a retailer about a particular ticket when you are trying to have it validated, you can always ask for the ticket back and send it to the Arizona Lottery, where we will check it. In fact, Arizona Lottery customers at any time are welcome to send their tickets directly to the Lottery for validation.
• Look and Listen. When a retailer validates your ticket, if it is a winner, the machine will play "We're in the Money". If the terminal includes a display screen, the amount won will also appear on the screen.
• Keep your tickets safe. On-line tickets should be handled with caution. Do not deface Lottery tickets. Do not expose Lottery tickets to heat. Keep Lottery tickets dry.

Here are some other general reminders:

• Arizona law prohibits the sale of Lottery tickets to individuals under 21 years of age. You must be at least 21 years old and be able to present a valid form of identification to purchase or redeem Lottery tickets.
• Only buy Lottery tickets from authorized Arizona Lottery retailers. If you are approached by someone offering a "winning ticket" for cash, refuse the offer and contact the Lottery Investigations Unit immediately at 480-921-4486 (Mon-Fri. 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.).
• Cash, debit cards, money orders, or travelers cheques are accepted forms of payment. Buying tickets with a credit card is at the discretion of the individual retailer. Credit cards are not accepted at either the Phoenix or Tucson Office Claims Stores.
• Remember, in order to claim any Lottery prize, you must have your ticket.
• How-to-Play information can be found on your ticket, the Lottery's website on the GAMES page, at any Lottery retailer, or the Lottery's Player Hotline at (480) 829-PICK (7425) in Phoenix, or (800-499-3798) in all other areas.
• The overall odds of winning are printed on all Scratchers tickets. Odds for each prize level, as well as number of prizes remaining, are available by clicking on the individual game on the SCRATCHERS page.
• If you purchase a Scratchers ticket, check it and make sure the latex has not been previously scratched anywhere on the ticket. If the ticket appears to have been tampered with, contact the Lottery Investigations Unit immediately.
• Information about Scratchers game-end dates and the final date to redeem prizes is posted on the website on the SCRATCHERS ENDING DATES page.
• The final date to redeem a winning Scratchers ticket is 180 days after the announced end of game date.
• The final date to redeem a winning ticket for an on-line game is 180 days from the drawing date.
• The Arizona Lottery Retailer Rules prohibit Lottery retailers from charging a commission or fee for cashing a winning ticket. If this occurs, contact the Lottery Investigations Unit immediately at 480-921-4486 (Mon-Fri. 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.).
• Report any suspicious activity or concerns that you have regarding a Lottery ticket purchase to the Arizona Lottery immediately.
• The Arizona Lottery is not liable for lost, stolen, or damaged tickets.
• Visit the Arizona Lottery's I Won, Now What? page for additional claim information and for all the latest Lottery news.

Beware of Scams

Every day, criminals find new ways to scam victims out of their money. Illegal lotteries operate from locations all over the world and notify "winners" with enticing language via the mail, phone, or Internet. Sometimes the enticements are about phony lotteries in the United States, but they can also be from as far away as Australia and Europe. These lottery solicitations violate U.S. law, which prohibits the cross-border sale or purchase of lottery tickets by phone or mail.

The only lottery that is legally authorized to operate in Arizona is the Arizona Lottery. If you receive suspicious materials, telephone calls, or emails, or if you are ever in doubt about information that supposedly came from a legitimate lottery, call the Arizona Lottery Investigations Unit immediately at 480-921-4486 (Mon-Fri. 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.).

The Arizona Lottery offers these helpful tips to avoid lottery scams:

• Never accept a collect telephone call from someone claiming to be a Lottery official. Legitimate Lotteries do not call collect.
• Never respond to a letter, phone call, or Internet message from someone who claims they can guarantee you a prize. The Arizona Lottery does not guarantee you a prize, only a chance of winning one if you buy a legal ticket from an authorized Arizona Lottery retailer.
• Buy Lottery tickets only from authorized Arizona Lottery retailers. Arizona Lottery tickets can only be purchased from licensed Arizona Lottery retailers. The Arizona Lottery does not sell tickets through the mail, over the Internet, or by subscription.
• Never purchase tickets from foreign Lotteries by phone, mail, or the Internet. The sale and trafficking in foreign Lottery tickets is a violation of federal criminal law.
• Unless you specifically entered an Arizona Lottery promotion, you will never be contacted by us informing you that you have won a prize. If you did not purchase a Lottery ticket or enter a secondary drawing, you cannot win a prize.
• If you are going to participate in a "Lottery pool," do so only with people you know and trust.
• Never agree to help a stranger cash a Lottery ticket. If you do, more than likely you will become the victim of a "Pigeon Drop" scam. If you are approached by a stranger asking for help to cash a ticket, contact the Arizona Lottery Investigations Unit and your local law enforcement immediately.
• Never redeem a Lottery ticket for someone you do not know. Some scams are operated by groups of individuals who travel around the country, approaching victims with a wide range of stories. Below are some examples of scams and the truth behind them:

SCAM: "This is a winning ticket, but I need money to claim it. If you help me with the money up front, I'll share the jackpot with you."
TRUTH: Once a ticket is bought, no money is EVER required to claim a prize.

SCAM: "I can't cash in my winning lottery ticket because I'm not a U.S. citizen."
TRUTH: You do not have to be a U.S. citizen to claim a lottery prize.

SCAM: "Let's call the Lottery. They'll tell us this is a winning ticket."
TRUTH: The Arizona Lottery does not confirm that a ticket is a winner over the phone. The person on the phone is part of the scam.

SCAM: "We need to hurry! I need to get back to my family - it's an emergency!"
TRUTH: The thieves are trying to rush you so you don't have time to think or call a family member or friend for advice or help.

The old saying still holds true, "If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is." Don't be a victim, and don't let anyone you know be a victim. When you hear one of these stories - get away, call the police, and give them a description. Help stop these criminals before they strike again.

The Arizona Lottery provides fun, excitement, and prizes for players. DO NOT let con artists and criminals take your money and spoil your fun. If you feel you have been a victim of a lottery scam, report it to the appropriate authorities. For more information on reporting fraud and scams, click here.

The following are resources where you can learn more about frauds and scams:

Federal Trade Commission
U.S. Postal Service
Consumer Fraud Reporting

Don't Be a Victim. Be ALERT:
Ask questions
Listen carefully
Educate yourself
Refuse to be pressured
Tell the authorities

Reporting Fraud and Scams

If you receive suspicious materials, telephone calls, or emails, or if you are ever in doubt about information that supposedly came from a legitimate Lottery, you can call the Arizona Lottery and ask for our Investigations Unit, email the Lottery at: [email protected], or mail information to the Lottery at the below address. It will be helpful if you can provide us with a copy of any correspondence you received and/or the website address of any suspicious Internet site.

The Arizona Lottery's Investigations Unit contact information is:
Arizona Lottery Investigations Unit
4740 East University Drive
Phoenix, AZ 85034
480-921-4486
[email protected]

You also are encouraged to report suspicious information or fraud attempts to your local police or sheriff's office.

In addition, you may also report suspected fraud to:
Phoenix Office of the Attorney General
(Consumer Information and Complaints)
1275 W. Washington
Phoenix, AZ 85007-2926
602-542-5763 or 1-800-352-8431

Tucson Office of the Attorney General
400 W. Congress, South Building, Suite 315
Tucson, AZ 85701-1367
520-628-6504

The Federal Trade Commission also works for the consumer to prevent fraudulent, deceptive, and unfair business practices in the marketplace and to provide information to help consumers spot, stop, and avoid them. To file a complaint or to get free information on consumer issues, visit the website at www.ftc.gov or write or call:

Federal Trade Commission
Consumer Response Center
600 Pennsylvania Ave. NW
Washington, D.C. 20580
1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357)
TTY: 1-866-653-4261

Retailer Compliance

Arizona Lottery Investigators complete systematic compliance investigations for each licensed Lottery retailer. The purpose of the compliance investigation is to confirm the retailer's knowledge of wagering laws and regulations. If criminal offenses are discovered, the Arizona Lottery Investigator will forward a report to the appropriate Law Enforcement agency.

The Lottery is working hard to protect the integrity of its games, so be sure to take steps to protect yourself as well.

We will continue to conduct security compliance investigations at retail locations across Arizona to ensure retailer compliance.