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Mass. Lottery ends game that was exploited by high-rollers

Jan 27, 2012, 7:57 am

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Massachusetts Lottery

State will add New England multi-state game in March

By Todd Northrop

Massachusetts lottery players looking to buy Cash WinFall tickets this week had their last chance on Monday, the game's final drawing.

The canceled game was the talk of the lottery industry last year, when it was revealed that a small group of high-rollers had identified a weakness in the game's prize structure that would occasionally make the payouts astronomical for players who could afford to wager huge amounts of money at the right time.

(See Mass. Lottery game very profitable for those who know how and when to play, Lottery Post, July 31, 2011.)

In a statement published on its Web site, the Massachusetts Lottery said that the Cash WinFall game had an "extended presence in the marketplace", and previous statements from last year indicated that the game was fading in popularity.

A few days after the the game's payout weakness was revealed, the lottery attempted to repair the game's (and the lottery's) reputation by closing the loophole.

(See Massachusetts Lottery closes loophole after big winsLottery Post, Aug. 3, 2011.)

The Monday jackpot for Cash WinFall was worth $2,253,177, but there were no tickets sold that matched all 6 numbers to win it, so the jackpot money was distributed among all the winners of other prizes.

The second prize for matching 5 of 6 was bumped up to $29,397 from its normal payout of $4,000.  Similarly, the prize for matching 4 of 6 was increased to $1,185 from the normal amount of $150, and the prize for matching 3 of 6 was increased to $37 from the normal payout of $5.  (See the complete prize payout chart for Monday's Cash WinFall drawing.)

Players holding season tickets for Cash WinFall will be reimbursed by the lottery for the remaining value of their tickets.

The lottery is also allowing any players who are holding unclaimed free bets for Cash WinFall to use them to make wagers in the Megabucks Doubler game.  Each $2 Cash WinFall free bet ticket can be redeemed for either two $1 wagers in a single Megabucks Doubler drawing or one $1 wager in two consecutive drawings.

All unclaimed Cash WinFall free bets are valid for up to one year from the drawing date printed on the ticket, as are any other prizes from the game.

New multi-state game coming in March

The Massachusetts Lottery is countering the cancellation of the Cash WinFall game with talk of a new game, set to begin in March.

Lucky for Life, a new multi-state game to be offered in all six New England states, will offer players an opportunity to win $1,000 a day for life.

The six New England states include Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont.

The Lucky for Life game will offer 10 total ways to win a prize.  In addition to top prize of $1,000 a day for life, Lucky for Life will also feature a $25,000 second prize and other cash prizes ranging from $2,000 to $2.

The overall odds of winning a prize will be 1 in 6.6.

Lucky for Life tickets will cost $2 each, like the Cash WinFall game it replaces in Massachusetts.

Game sales begin on Sunday, March 11, 2012, with the first drawing taking place on Thursday, March 15.

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