Player Security

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 515-725-7888.)
  • 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 wmaster@ialottery.com. If you have a security-related concern, please report it directly to the Iowa Lottery Security Department at 515-725-7888.