This week's 'Ask Evan' question comes from Sharon M. She ask, "The PA lottery sells holiday themed tickets in various dollar amounts. Let's say the Christmas themed tickets are replaced with Valentine themed tickets. Are there still Christmas winning tickets that are returned to the lottery?"
Here's what the state lottery officials tell me. Simply put-- there is not a separate prize pool for each game. Instead, all scratch off games draw from the same large prize pool. So, when one game ends, another takes its place - offering the same or larger prizes. Are there holiday themed tickets that go back to the lottery from retailers that may be winners? Yes, but in technical terms-- until the ticket is scratched, there is no prize liability.
The bottom line is that there is a large pool of lottery money that is tapped into when a winning ticket is scratched-- no matter what kind of ticket. Also, lottery players have one full year after a scratch-off game ends sale to claim any prizes. The lottery does close a scratch-off game when it learns all top prizes have been claimed.
If you have a question you'd like me to answer, send me an email at AskEvan@FOX43.com. Put Ask Evan in the subject line. Or you can reach out to me on my Facebook page-- Evan Forrester FOX43. Whatever the question, I'll do my best to find the answers you are looking for.