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Press release

May 10, 2010

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May, 2010 | Consumer Protection

Lottery Investigators Crack Down on Illegal Underground Lottery Scheme


SACRAMENTO – Lottery investigators, working with the San Pablo Police Department, the state Department of Justice and the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control, have executed a search warrant at four retail stores in San Pablo to gather evidence for an investigation into a possible illegal lottery. So far evidence has emerged that some individuals are selling homemade tickets to customers and using the winning numbers from the California Lottery’s Daily 3 game to determine the winners.

Such an underground lottery is illegal because it uses numbers from the California Lottery and may give the impression that it is part of the officially-sanctioned California Lottery. This underground operation has none of the controls of the California Lottery and it does not contribute any money to education.

“We warn all of our customers to avoid playing in any underground lottery,” said Lottery Director Joan Borucki. “And if we find evidence that such a lottery is operating we will move swiftly to shut it down. These schemes can confuse our customers and detract from our mission, which is to maximize supplemental funding for education.”

The case began in December with a tip that came into the Lottery. The case has been developed by investigators from the Lottery’s Security and Law Enforcement Division, which is one of the largest and most aggressive in the nation, with help from other law enforcement agencies. It is a misdemeanor to operate an underground Lottery in California.

The California Lottery reminds players to only purchase Lottery products from the 21,000 California Lottery retailers. Players can protect themselves from fraud by signing their tickets immediately after they purchase them and to never cash or claim a ticket for someone they don’t know. For more consumer protection information, please visit the

The California Lottery is celebrating 25 years of enhancing education and supporting local communities. More than 95 cents of every Lottery dollar is returned to the community in the form of contributions to education, prizes and retail commissions. The California Lottery contributes at least 87 cents of every dollar to prizes and education. Since the Lottery’s inception in 1985, Lottery players have contributed more than $22 billion to California schools out of total sales of nearly $59 billion. Retailers benefit too, earning $3.8 billion in compensation since 1985.

See More Press Releases: May, 2010 | Consumer Protection |