New Jersey’s High Card Poker scratch off game debuted on Aug. 7, but just three days later the lottery had pulled it off the market. The reason? To avoid further controversy.
Controversy arose when Robert Chalet of Bloomfield bought a $5 ticket which revealed hand of 5-6-9-J-Q against a “dealer’s” hand of 4-6-7-10-Q. In a real poker game, Chalet would have won. And if the same rules applied to the lottery game he would have won a prize of $150,000. But under the rules of the High Card Poker scratch off game, all Chalet won was ten on another hand on the card.
How can this happen? The game’s rules state that in order to win, the player’s highest card must be higher than any other card in the hand without a pair. Since both hands had queens, Chalet was not eligible for the top prize.
While Chalet, and a few other players who’ve had the same experience know that the lottery game’s rules were followed, they did not like it. The feeling of resentment and confusion on the part of other players caused the lottery to pull the plug on the game.
Winnings of tickets which have already been sold will be honored by the lottery.