Hoosier Lottery faces lawsuit over scratch-off tickets - 13 WTHR Indianapolis

Hoosier Lottery faces lawsuit over scratch-off tickets

Jeff Frazer Jeff Frazer
Richard Waples Richard Waples

Sandra Chapman/Eyewitness News

Indianapolis - The Hoosier Lottery is defending itself against allegations of misleading promotions. Specifically, scratch-off tickets offering millions in cash prizes are the subject of claims of fraud and deceptive consumer sales.

"You'd be absolutely outraged, because the biggest fear of course is if they misrepresent one prize game, can they misrepresent them all?" said Jeff Frazer, a Carmel resident.

Frazer spent $40,000 on the Hoosier Lottery scratch-off game "Cash Blast," also known as Instant Game 743. At $10 a ticket, it promised seven grand prizes of a quarter of a million dollars in addition to winnings up to $10,000.

"As the game wrapped up, the last 10 to 20 percent of the tickets being left, virtually all the prizes were still available. And that's where a gamble becomes an investment. When you know every couple of tickets are going to be a nice winner, that's when you play hard," said Frazer.

But in July of last year, after selling five million tickets, the Lottery abruptly reduced the amount of prizes in the course of two weeks. Emails represent dozens of consumer complaints.

"One day there was $8 million and some dollars available in prizes and the next day there was less than a million dollars and it wasn't because people had claimed those prizes. It was because they never existed," said Rich Waples, Frazer's attorney. "About 60,000 prizes weren't available that people were buying these tickets for. They said, 'Oops, sorry'."

Waples is filing a class action lawsuit against the Hoosier Lottery. Frazer is one of the lead plantiffs.

According to the lawsuit: The Lottery overstated the number and amount of prizes in the Cash Blast game by $8 million. In a release last year the lottery said it had a problem with its printing company and recalled 2.5 million tickets. After reprinting them the lottery said the odds of the game were not compromised.

"Of course it's one thing if it's an accounting error and it's just a problem on their end, it's another thing if they knew it and they continued to sell it under those circumstances," said Frazer.

Waples maintains the $20 million in damages now sought equals the money spent by consumers on non-winning Cash Blast tickets between the period in question.

"The lottery should owe that money back to the people," said Waples.

Officials at the Hoosier Lottery declined comment citing the ongoing litigation. Frazer and other angry players asked the lottery for refunds, but were declined. Now a court will decide what's next.

Anyone who purchased "Cash Blast" tickets between May 2005 and July 7th of last year could be eligible. Contact Richard Waples for more information on how to get involved.

Read the complaint

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