In the heat of chasing that lottery dream, there's one move that a player should make in case lightning strikes, lottery officials say.
Sign the back of the ticket right after you buy it.
The Florida Lottery began rolling out a "Sign Your Ticket" campaign as part of an effort to protect Lottery players from potential fraud.
A Palm Beach Post investigation revealed a high number of store owners cashing in big tickets, and lottery officials in April moved in on three Pompano Beach stores, then in May suspended sales at 11 more stores.
Lottery officials stop short of saying their campaign is a response to those developments, but, yes, they want do away with any funny business.
The Sign Your Ticket campaign is one of several steps the Lottery is taking to improve the security of the games, lottery officials say. They note they have been conducting retailer integrity investigations since 2009.
Signing your ticket upon purchase prevents anyone else from claiming a prize won on the ticket.
“Because signing your ticket is such an important part of ensuring the rightful owner of the ticket receives any prize won, we felt it was important to reiterate to our players to sign their ticket. Every ticket, every time,” said Florida Lottery Secretary Cynthia O’Connell.
The campaign includes public service announcements and increased messaging on the Lottery’s website and social media platforms.
Other ways to protect your ticket include checking yourself to see if it’s a winner and watching the monitor while the ticket is being validated. You also have the right to ask for your ticket back from a retailer.
The lottery also encourages calls to the customer service office at 850-487-7787.