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Apr232015

Another Reason To Quit Your QuickPick Tickets Habit For Good

QuickPick tickets like this $158 million winning ticket held by Illinois Lottery Supt. Michael Jones can win, but they also have a big flaw you should know about.

If you're at the lottery store and forgotten to bring your Profiles, and there's not enough time to go back home, forget it. Don't fall into the trap of buying QuickPick tickets.

Apart from not having any control over the numbers you're given, QuickPicks have a big problem.

The numbers on your QuickPick may be duplicated - sometimes many times.

Four identical quick pick lottery numbers were all made within seconds of each other (circled) from the same Louisianna Lottery machine. Photo: The Lotto Report

That means there will be many other players out there with the identical numbers, and when that happens the prize will be divided up among you.

Of course, you can also win multiple prizes with a number of identical tickets too, but that scenario is very rare. Generally multiple duplicates for losing tickets just means wasted money for most players.

The Ladners won with two identical tickets, doubling the prize to $1.3 million. That 2007 win was thought to be the only time it has happened. Read More

In a Louisiana Lottery game a player assumed they were buying four computer quick pick chances to win at a cost of $2 each. It turns out the tickets at the store were all duplicate numbers, so in reality they had paid $8 for only a single chance.

The advantage would only happen after a win, when they would receive 8 times the number of prizes. But most players would not want to pay this amount for losing numbers.

In another example, back in 2012 a glitch affecting Illinois Lottery machines led to thousands of duplicate quick-pick tickets being printed.

The Chicago Tribune reported that 3,000 tickets were affected out of more than 6 million sold between last Saturday and Tuesday.

One player, Mary Ellen Reiter, said she felt like she got one losing ticket for the price of two after discovering that eight sets of numbers on one Illinois Lottery QuickPick ticket that she bought matched eight sets of numbers on another.

"I think that they should make it right," said Reiter, 52, of Evanston, who bought the duplicate tickets Sunday at a convenience store in the northern suburb. "The way I figure, I should at least receive back $5 of free quick-picks."

Illinios Lottery spokesman Mike Lang at his office.

Lottery spokesman Mike Lang says the glitch occurred while new software was being uploaded to the machines.

Lang says some machines weren't clearing numbers out of their memories from the previous ticket issued.

That meant old numbers were being printed onto the next ticket.

The lottery learned of the problem several days later and it was fixed, but not in time for a number of players to share their prizes.

Customers were reimbursed with new quick-pick tickets, leaving some players thinking they had got one losing ticket for the price of two.

Players at an Illinois Lottery outlet.

But the duplicates weren't bad news in every case.

"There were, I'm told, 340 duplicate prizes that won," Lang said. "So some people may have won twice."

All of the winning tickets were for small cash prizes, he said.

Another QuickPick duplication also raised a few eyebrows in Phoenix, Arizona, where employees at Hughes Performance were part of a pool for Mega Millions.

According to AZ Family, Jan Bleichroth, who owns the company, collected money from employees for the big Mega Millions drawing.

A QuickTrip (QT) gas station and convenience store.

Bleichroth collected $145 and went to a QT convenience store where she purchased 145 tickets using the QuickPick selection.

But after bringing the tickets back to her shop and making copies for everyone, one of her employees noticed something peculiar about two seemingly normal tickets.

"One of the guys in the back said, 'You know, you got two tickets here that are exactly the same,” Bleichroth said.

The duplicate tickets bought by Jan Bleichroth of Hughes Performance. PHOTO: Az Family

The 60 numbers on one ticket were the exact same as the tickets on the second ticket.

At first, Bleichroth thought the Quick Pick machine accidentally spit out a duplicate ticket. But a closer look at the validation numbers at the bottom of the tickets reveal they were not copies.

OUR TAKE: QuickPick tickets are not controlled, and generally there's no comeback if you find duplicate numbers. The Powerball states this in their FAQ:

#3. If I buy a Powerball quick-pick ticket, can anyone else get those numbers?
A. Yes, more than one person can receive the same quick-pick numbers. Quick-picks are randomly generated by the terminal at the retailer and there is no central computer that is controlling their generation.

RELATED: Don't Make These 8 Horrible Mistakes When Buying Your Lottery Tickets

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