Security Tips at Retail Level
The Iowa Lottery is committed to conducting our games in a secure
manner with fairness and integrity.
The first line of defense in consumer protection is always for players to arm themselves with the
information they need to determine whether their tickets have 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 lots of ways that you as a lottery player can check the results of your tickets, and we
encourage you to use multiple sources of information for verification:
- Watch the televised drawings in lotto games.
- Check the information here on the lottery Web site.
- Ask retailers to print out winning numbers from the lottery terminal.
- Call one of the lottery's five
regional offices around the state for information.
- Listen to lottery results on local radio stations.
- Check lottery results in local newspapers.
However, 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.
- Always 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 Lottery Security and your local police or sheriff's office.
- Protect yourself by determining on your own whether your ticket has won a prize before
you present it to be checked or cashed. 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 Iowa Lottery, where we will check it. In fact, Iowa Lottery
customers at any time are welcome to send their tickets directly to the lottery, where
lottery staffers can validate them. (If you ticket has already been cashed by the retailer,
the ticket can't be returned to you because winning tickets are retained by the lottery
and retailers for security reasons. However, if you have a disagreement regarding that ticket,
be sure to get the customer receipt for it and call the Lottery Security Department at
- Ask for your receipt! Whenever a lotto or instant-scratch ticket is checked or
cashed in Iowa, receipts are printed from the terminal. Be sure you receive the customer receipt
that shows the results of your ticket. (No receipts are involved for pull-tab tickets because
any prize amount won on a pull-tab is already printed underneath the tabs on the ticket.)
Here are some other general reminders:
- 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.
- The Iowa Lottery has customer display units along with its sales and validations
terminals in retail locations that sell lotto tickets. The customer display unit shows
the results of a particular transaction, and players can see the information on the screen.
- If you purchase a scratch-off 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 Lottery Security immediately.
- If you purchase a pull-tab ticket, check it to make sure the perforations along the
paper tabs have not been broken. If the ticket appears to have been tampered with,
contact Lottery Security immediately.
- It is illegal for Iowa Lottery retailers to charge a commission or fee for cashing
a winning ticket. If this occurs, contact Lottery Security immediately at 515-725-7888.
- Only buy lottery tickets from authorized Iowa Lottery retailers. If you are
approached by someone offering a "winning ticket" for cash, refuse the
offer and contact Lottery Security immediately.
Don't be scammed! If you ever have a concern
about the Iowa Lottery, its products or operations,
please call the lottery immediately at 515-725-7900
or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you have a
security-related concern, please report it directly
to the Iowa Lottery Security Department at