A $248 million lawsuit was filed today against GTECH Corporation, operator of the Texas Lottery. A group of 520 lottery players sued to collect their winnings from the controversial Fun 5’s scratch-off game. The suit alleges that GTECH programmed its computers to reject winning tickets as losers even though the tickets met all the requirements of being winning tickets under the official regulations for the Fun 5’s game.
The dispute revolves around Game 5 of the Fun 5’s game. The instructions on the ticket read as follows:
- “Reveal three “5” symbols in any one row, column or diagonal, win PRIZE in PRIZE box. Reveal a Money Bag “ ” symbol in the 5X BOX, win 5 times that PRIZE.”
The official regulations for the Fun 5’s game read as follows:
- “GAME 5: If a player reveals three “5” Play Symbols in any one row, column or diagonal, the player wins the PRIZE in the PRIZE box. If a player reveals a “MONEY BAG Play Symbol in the 5X BOX, the player wins 5 times that PRIZE.
The lawsuit alleges that GTECH programmed its computers to reject tickets as losers unless they met a requirement not found in the instructions or in the official game regulations as follows:
- Reveal three “5” symbols in any one row, column or diagonal, win PRIZE in PRIZE box. [And, if you also] Reveal a Money Bag “ ” symbol in the 5X BOX, win 5 times
that[the] PRIZE [won].
The suit alleges that GTECH was negligent when it programmed its computers to reject tickets as losers that should have been declared winners. The suit also alleges that once GTECH learned of its mistake, it intentionally continued to use the non-conforming computer program to tortiously interfere with the expectancy the lottery players had of receiving the prizes they had been promised.
The suit was filed in Travis County state district court by Houston attorney Richard LaGarde and by his co-counsel, Manfred Sternberg. Click here to read a copy of the petition.