The following story in Minnesota, U.S.A highlights the importance of checking your scratchies if you choose to purchase them at your local shop.
The term “microscratching” is probably unfamiliar to most people who enjoy their scratch card tickets. This phenomenon has been equated with the card counting techniques uses by traditional gamblers to cheat the casino.
How it works is quite fascinating. When we buy our scratch card tickets we all love the feeling of revealing the numbers to see if we have a winning combination. Well apparently there is the method of “microscratching” which allows cheaters to only scratch 3 tiny numbers in order to identify a scratch ticket as a winning one or not. This technique if done property cannot be seen by the naked eye and this is how store clerk Mourad Zahi managed to sell many losing tickets while pocketing the winning tickets for himself. Zahi had access to the state lottery computers and would make tiny scratches to reveal the backup codes behind the scratch area.
His luck ran out when Lottery Officials stated investigating Zahi after people were claiming prizes on winning tickets which had already been paid out. Zahi’s greed eventually got the better of him as an undercover investigation showed that scratch card tickets purchased from Zahi had indeed tiny scratches on them which were only visible with a microscope.
The greedy cheater is now facing serious jail time with over five counts of felonies pending against him. Lottery officials in Minnesota emphasized that the chances of falling victim to “microscratching” are extremely rare and should you notice any marks on your cards, you are entitled to ask for a “clean” card.
The lesson of this story is always to be aware of where you layout your hard earned cash when deciding to have a flutter. While most of us rely on good old fashioned luck to win, there are always those unscrupulous operators who prefer to use cheating and shortcuts to win.