Many people buy lottery scratch tickets as a stocking stuffer at this time of year. It's a simple, easy gift idea, but it may be a waste of money.

A recent investigation by the Chicago Tribune found that over 40% of scratch lottery game prizes were never awarded.  Players wooed with the promise of big cash prizes filled the coffers of the private company contracted by the state to run the lottery, while many tickets were recalled and games ended early with no grand prizes awarded.

The investigation is ongoing, and the state of Illinois is apparently searching for a new company to run the lottery.

It seems like the best chance to win with an Illinois Lottery scratch ticket is to keep the money in your pocket.

Learn more at the Chicago Tribune.