Houston, TX (Law Firm Newswire) October 23, 2014 — The Texas Lottery Commission announced its decision to end the Fun 5’s scratch-off game just five days after a Texas Lottery watchdog asked a Travis County Court for the right to depose the Commission over alleged problems with the game.
The move to shut down the game is a major turning point in a controversy that has been gaining momentum. Since the game launched in early September, hundreds of lottery players have complained that official lottery computers had been programmed to deny prizes to some winning Fun 5’s tickets. The Texas Lottery Commission held that those players misunderstood the language in the rules, but did not move to change the language.
Dawn Nettles, the self-appointed lottery watchdog who filed the petition, has chronicled the Commission’s response to the ongoing public uproar on her website, Lotto Report.
“Ms. Nettles and many other lottery players went directly to the Texas Lottery Commission to ask them to address multiple problems with these deceptive tickets” says Richard LaGarde of the LaGarde Law Firm, her attorney. “But the Commission refused to do anything. It is unfortunate that legal action was necessary to get the Lottery Commission to take a first step in the right direction.”
The next step, according to Ms. Nettles, is for the Texas Lottery Commission to honor all of the winning Fun 5’s tickets sold, including the tickets in question in her petition. On her website, she encourages all players to do what they can to obtain their prize money, including writing to the Federal Trade Commission.
The statement from the Texas Lottery Commission announcing the end of the Fun 5’s scratch-off game does not directly acknowledge the problem with the rules of the game. It does acknowledge that many players were confused by the game, and states that no more tickets will be sold after December 5, 2014.
The petition filed by Nettles is Dawn Nettles vs. The Texas Lottery Commission and GTECH Corporation, cause number D-1-GN-14-004345, filed in the Travis County District Court for the 345th Judicial District of Texas.
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