The Division of Gaming Enforcement is investigating a $1 million scratch card promotion that was abruptly stopped only four days after it began, officials said.
The “$1,000,000 Lovin’ the Legends” promotion began June 1 and was to run until Sept. 2 at Bally’s Atlantic City, according to advertisements and patrons who participated in it. But by June 5, the promotion was halted and now the gaming enforcement division is investigating the matter, division spokeswoman Lisa Spengler said.
The incident was brought to the division’s attention but not as a result of a patron complaint, Spengler said, adding no other information could be released due to the ongoing investigation. A representative of Bally’s could not be reached for comment.
David Goldfarb, 58, of Princeton, said he played the promotion, winning $15 in slot play June 1. He said the scratch card that was issued to him had eight rows and 11 hidden squares on each row. The object of the promotion was to go row by row, scratch off the right-most square — revealing a random digit — and then match that digit by scratching off exactly one square on the same row, Goldfarb said.
Anyone matching all eight rows would win $1 million, he said.
“In theory, every ticket was a potential winner,” Goldfarb said, adding that the promotion was unusual in his experience at the casinos. “I’ve never seen anything exactly like that where each card was a potential winner.”
As he stood in line to redeem his scratch card, a woman in front of him appeared to have presented a card in which she had all eight matches, and in turn solicited the attention of casino officials, Goldfarb said.
The probability of someone matching only one row is one in 10. The probability of matching all eight rows is one in 100 million.
“That’s a long shot — on the order of a Powerball type of a hit,” said Bob Hannum, a professor of risk analysis and gaming at the University of Denver. “It’s a low-probability event but people do hit the Powerball. It’s not impossible. If a lot of people are doing it, somebody’s going to get it.”
Since the scratch cards were pulled, Bally’s began what appears to be a more modest promotion called “$750,000 Summer Splash Sweepstakes.”
Advertised as a daily sweepstakes to win $100 in free play, the promotion promises five winners every 15 minutes, in addition to $10,000 in free play weekly drawings and a finale in which more than $100,000 in free play prizes will be awarded.
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