An Oregon man thought heâ€™d won $31,038 on a scratch-off, only to find out that it was actually worth nothing. Rodney Haven of Portland played the Spades ticket, on which there are 18 chances to beat the dealer by scratching a higher card in order to win cash prizes.
In any of the real-life variations of Spades, the suit of spades trumps anything other than a higher spade, leading Haven to believe that he had triumphed in five hands. However, on presenting the scratch-it at two stores, he was told that it was not a winner, leading him to contact the Oregon Lottery itself.
Haven claims that the lottery official with whom he spoke told him that they receive calls about the Spades game â€œevery dayâ€, an accusation which Lottery spokesman Chuck Baumann was keen to play down. Baumann stated that there had not been â€œa lotâ€ of complaints before admitting that â€œthere was more than one, thatâ€™s for sureâ€.
The Oregon Lottery website and the ticket itself merely state that â€œif your card beats the dealerâ€™s card within a game, win prize [sic] for that gameâ€ and Haven insists that the description is â€œmisleadingâ€. Baumann counters that, because there is no mention of trumping, â€œit plays exactly as it readsâ€.
Mollie Cole, spokeswoman for the gameâ€™s manufacturer, Scientific Games International, maintains that â€œIt is not modeled on the popular trick-taking Spades card game of which there are many variations, and no official rules.”
Spades costs $3 to play and features a top prize of $30,000 – Â£1,038 less than Haven asserts that he is owed. You can find out more about the Oregon Lottery at the dedicated Results page of Lottery.net.
Updated March 30th, 2016