Does the lottery store machine really have to chime for every winning ticket?


You go into the lottery store clutching your handful of tickets ready to cash in. You know there are winners in that pile.

You're in the queue, and a few moments later you notice a couple of guys move in behind you. They're big, look a little tough, swaggery.

You step up to the counter and the girl starts putting them through the machine.

After just a couple of tickets the till chimes the winning sound. Great!

Then again! And yet again!


Did the machine chimes give away this lottery store clerk’s attempt to steal a winning ticket? PHOTO: Dateline NBC

Now you're starting to get a little uncomfortable, sure the guys behind are mentally adding up the prize money.

I wonder if I'll be a target for them when I step outside, you think.

Why can't they turn the ring chimes off so I can keep my multiple wins secret!


Dateline reporter Chris Hansen shows the lottery store clerk the recording of his attempt to steal the ticket. PHOTO: Dateline NBC

Well, unfortunately they can't.

Many lottery organisations require their stores to have a ring sound as a safety net for both the customer and the retailer.

The ring sounds acts as an alert so there can be no chance of anyone forgetting to pay out, or concealing a winning ticket from the customer.

The video where the Dateline team discover a New York lottery store clerk is stealing winning tickets. VIDEO: Dateline NBC

Here's the screenshot for the moment when the New York store clerk steals a customer's lottery ticket.

The UK National Lottery sets their rules for store machine chimes out clearly in their player guidelines:

The National Lottery terminal will emit the 'win sound' every time a winning Lottery Draw Game ticket or Scratchcard is scanned.

Retailers have always had to inform a player if they have won a National Lottery prize. The 'win sound' simply standardises the process for how players are alerted to the fact that they are in possession of a winning ticket – it does not indicate how much the player has won or any other details.

And if a different sound means a big win over the retailer's cash payout limit, the retailer is not obliged to tell you the amount you've won and will refer you to the lottery headquarters. 

Here are the Texas Lottery store winning tones:

This video shows the difference between Texas Lottery store win tones.