LAWRENCEVILLE, NJ (CAP) - Lottery officials have confirmed that the U.S. government is sanctioning a new lottery game, the proceeds of which will go toward an increased bounty for the capture of Osama bin Laden. Payouts on the Osama bin Lotto game easily exceed $100,000, but scratching off the wrong spot could cost you a finger.
"We needed something to make this game stand out among the thousands that consumers can choose from," said New Jersey Lottery Commission spokesperson Marc Reinart. "So we upped the max payout, increased the frequency of payouts, and added a little risk to make it interesting."
The risk to which Reinart refers is a pinch of powdered incendiary mixed in with the tin-like substance used on the scratch ticket itself. If the player scratches off the wrong spot on the card, the friction ignites the powder and creates a small explosion.
The ACLU has already filed a lawsuit to prevent distribution of the new tickets, saying it's "just another case of the government preying on the poor."
"Do rich people buy lottery tickets? No," said ACLU spokesperson Jennifer Whiting. "Do rich people need their fingers? Not as much as poor people, no. And we'll prove it in court."
The game has already featured two winners in a special test run throughout a handful of locations in New Jersey. The first winner, an 18-year-old Jersey City man, collected $250,000 with only the loss of the tip of his index finger. The other winner, a 43-year-old Paterson man, wore heavy gloves while scratching his $100,000 ticket and escaped with only third-degree burns to the back of his hand.
"Our window of opportunity is very small as people will eventually figure out how to game the system," said Reinart. He cited examples of videos posted to Metacafe and Youtube that explain how to use blacklights and metal detectors to figure out which cards have the scratch bombs.
Reinart said when the game rolls out to a dozen other states within the next couple of months, they hope to have the powder formula altered enough to render the so-called "scratch bomb hacks" moot.
"I mean, come on," said Reinart, "isn't that hundred grand just a little bit nicer when you know you've truly earned it?"
- CAP News Staff