Mass. Treasurer Cracks Down On Lottery Loophole

  • Playlist
  • Download
  • Embed
    <iframe src="" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

A Massachusetts lottery game called "Cash Win-fall" was easier to win than expected. A computer scientist, among others, discovered a loophole in the game that almost guaranteed a profit. Some people were making big bucks from the loophole, but the state's treasurer put the kibosh on the scheme.


And today's last word in business is windfall.

In Massachusetts, a computer scientist, among others, discovered a loophole in one of the state's lottery games. It's called Cash Winfall, W-I-N-F-A-L-L.

Sometimes the big prize in that game increases to more than $2 million, and when that happens and nobody wins, the smaller prizes in that game also grow. In fact, the money you win for getting just a few of the numbers correct increases so much that if you buy enough tickets, you're almost guaranteed a profit.

According to the Boston Globe, some people were making money from this quirk in the lottery rules, buying up more than $100,000 worth of tickets at a time.

But just when you thought you had an answer to the federal deficit, the party may be over. Yesterday, the state's treasurer stopped the scheme by capping the number of tickets that any one store can sell in a day.

That's the business news on MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.


And I'm Renee Montagne.

Copyright © 2011 NPR. All rights reserved. Visit our website terms of use and permissions pages at for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by a contractor for NPR, and accuracy and availability may vary. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Please be aware that the authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio.



Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.

NPR thanks our sponsors

Become an NPR sponsor

Support comes from