There are five elements considered by the Nebraska Lottery in closing a Scratch game:
- the game has been sold out of the warehouse for at least four weeks
- the game has been on sale for more than 20 weeks
- statewide weekly sales for the game average less than $15,000 to $20,000 for five consecutive weeks
- a game is 4 weeks past the holiday or season for which it was designed
- when all of the game's top prizes have been won
The process of closing a Nebraska Lottery Scratch game takes about 30 days.
When a decision to close a game has been made based on the criteria enumerated above, Nebraska Lottery policy defines the chain of internal events that are to lead up to the issuance of a game closing notice.
When a game begins the closing process, a message is sent to every Nebraska Lottery terminal informing retailers that the game is closing and instructing them to remove the game from their display units. After pulling the packs, Lottery Sales Representatives pick up remaining packs of the game during their next call at the store. The site director for the Nebraska Lottery Scratch manufacturer and distributor is also notified.
Retailers are then notified in writing that a game is closing via a printed insert which is included with new ticket shipments. The insert lists the closing date and the last day tickets can be redeemed, and instructs retailers to post this information at their store.
Game closing information is posted on the Nebraska Lottery web site, along with weekly updates on prizes remaining information.
Prizes Remaining Communication
A prizes remaining sheet is prepared at the beginning of each week (Monday) with the latest information as of the close of the validation/sales week the preceding Saturday. The sheet lists top prizes and major prizes remaining, and notes if a game is sold out of the Nebraska Lottery warehouse or has begun the game closing process. That dated sheet is distributed to Lottery Sales Representatives to place at retail locations during their regular bi-weekly visits, and is also included in each shipment of tickets to Nebraska Lottery retailers.
Prizes remaining information and game closing information is also posted and updated weekly on the Nebraska Lottery web site.