NJ Lottery High Card Poker Game ScrappedAugust 18, 2017 12:52 pm
After just three days on the market, the New Jersey Lottery’s latest scratch card game called ‘High Card Poker’ has been scrapped following a controversial misunderstanding in which a player who thought he had won $150,000 ended up with just a $10 prize.
The incident involved Essex County resident Robert Chalet, whose $5 ticket after being scratched revealed a Q-J-9-6-5 poker hand versus the Q-10-7-6-4 of the dealer. As any poker player would know, Chalet should have won the hand as his second highest card being a jack outkicks the 10 of his opponent, and after referring to the prize payouts Chalet believed that he had won a whopping $150,000.
Unfortunately for him, though, ‘High Card Poker’ does not follow the rules of traditional poker, and a top-tier prize is awarded only if the player’s high cards is higher than that of the dealer. Attempting to clear up the confusion, the New Jersey Lottery subsequently issued a statement explaining:
“As the game’s rules state, a player’s high card must be higher than any other card in hand without any pair in order to win the top-tier prize.”
While representing the most high-profile case related to the controversial scratch card game, Robert Chalet was not the only punter left severely disappointed after playing ‘High Stakes Poker’, with “a handful” of other players also having questioned the winning scenarios laid out in its rules. As a result, the New Jersey Lottery felt that it had no other option but to withdraw the game, and later released the following message:
“Given the inconsistency between the actual game rules and win scenarios and traditional poker rules, and in order to avoid any further player confusion based on this inconsistency, New Jersey Lottery discontinued the sale of the High Card Poker instant game on Aug. 10.”
Out of the 4,368,360 tickets that had been printed, around 1 million are still in circulation, with 45,874 of those producing winning tickets worth around $621,670 in prizes. In the meantime, the lottery has said that it would honor any winning tickets still out there, which includes three $150,000 prizes, and eight hundred and twenty-six $500 prizes.