Ontario gaming officials spent much of yesterday apologizing after acknowledging a printing error created 1,100 false winning lottery tickets.

It is estimated that 50 to 150 of the defective $3 Fruit Smash scratch tickets were purchased, said Rula Sharkawi, executive director of communications at the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corp.

“Near the end of a print run, there was a small batch of tickets that were misaligned at the printer,” she said.

In Fruit Smash, players scratch an opaque layer at the top to reveal a fruit, then look to the game board section for possible matches and ‘wins.’

But on the bogus cards, players looking to match up an apple would notice that under the latex, there would be, say, a banana, said Sharkawi.

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