"A customer had found a scratch off ticket on the parking lot ground and the only thing that was scratched off on it was the play area which had the three-letter codes and it ended up being a thousand dollar winner," Mukwonago Mobil Station manager Michael Bell said.
Bell believes the ticket holder tossed it away due to a common misconception about the three-letter codes.
According to Bell the code sometimes indicates the size of the prize for winning tickets. A ticket worth $5 would show 'F-I-V' and a $10 prize would be indicated by 'T-E-N'. Many players have discovered this, but are unaware the codes for prizes of $600 or more look random.
"A lot of players don’t play the game, a lot of them just are wanting the money they want to take the chances on the gamble, so they know where those codes are so they just scratch those codes," Bell explained.
On hearing of the incident, a Wisconsin Lottery spokeswoman said the codes are not intended for player use.
"The purpose of the code is really to provide retailers with extra certainty with respect to prizes under $600 since they’re paid out by retailers," she said.