Agents scan cards to see if they are winners. Why can’t they scan scratch off cards, determine the winners then sell the losers to fools like me?
Clarification:

Scratch off cards have bar codes on the back of the card. To confirm winners, agents scan the code and the system tells them that what the prize is or if it is a loser. So – you don’t have to scratch off the card to see if it is a winner. Or do they scan the front scratched off area somehow?

• #### Pearl

October 23, 2010 at 7:21 pm

No. It is impossible to scan a loser because the winning number has not as yet been selected.

• #### PokerChic

October 23, 2010 at 8:01 pm

If you are talking about selling scratch-off cards that have already been scratched off…. LOL! It would take a very stupid loser to buy it. Demand he sell you one of the winning cards!

My other interpretation of this question is that an agent could start scratching off the cards, and after he has found all the winners, he sells the rest. If you think that every store has a set number of winners on a roll of scratchoff cards, you are mistaken. But, hey, don’t buy scratch cards if you are worried about this.

• #### pdq

October 23, 2010 at 8:52 pm

Here’s how it works:

The agent scans the barcode, which is clearly there for all to see. After he scans that, he must enter the 4-digit code that appears on the face of the ticket UNDER the scratch-able material.

When you’ve finished scratching your ticket, look around a bit. You will see a line of numbers and/or letters somewhere. It’s a code that the agent must enter into the lottery computer in order to verify that the ticket is a winner. Without that code, an agent can NOT see if it’s a winner or not.

There’s your answer, now here is one more piece of information I think everyone should know:

Did you know that lottery companies keep about 50% of all the money they take in? In other words, for every \$100,000 the make from ticket sales, they only pay out around \$50,000 to winning tickets!

At 50% this makes buying lottery tickets the WORST bet you can possibly make!

If you don’t believe me, do yourself a HUGE favor – KEEP TRACK! Keep track of everything you spend and everything you win on these tickets. In time you will see that I am right. For every \$1 you spend, you’ll “win” back only around 50 cents. (This is over time. Anyone can get a lucky ticket once in a while. Give it time and you will see I am right.)

• #### John W

October 23, 2010 at 9:45 pm

They’re required to enter the four digit control number which is only visible when scratched. If the computer sees that they are entering false control codes in an attempt to guess the control code then they will be arrested.

In Texas, the control codes are the numbers inside a box on the serial number uncovered when you scratch the ticket. In Canada there’s an area when scratched is labeled “cntl”. This area also moves around ticket to ticket so you would have to scratch a substantial area to find it.

You could say they scan the front scratched off area with their eyes.