The Powerball jackpot has climbed to $127 million. But Nebraska lottery players can't buy a ticket.
According to Nebraska Lottery, communication between the Nebraska Lottery and retailers was interrupted early Sunday morning after a communications satellite failed.
"We regret the inconvenience to our retailers and customers," said acting Lottery Director Jim Haynes in a news release Sunday. "This is an example of circumstances beyond anyone's control, and every effort is being made to resolve the situation as quickly as possible."
According to the state lottery, the satellite in question, called the IA-7 satellite, began to fail shortly after 2 a.m CT. The satellite, which was launched in July 1999, hosted more than 50 transponders one of which was owned by a technology provider for Intralot, the Nebraska Lottery's Lotto equipment vendor.
It is expected to take until sometime on Tuesday for technicians to visit each of the 950 Nebraska Lottery Lotto retailers to recalibrate their receiving equipment. The Powerball drawing in on Wednesday.
The outage affects all three Lotto games offered in the state: Powerball, Nebraska Pick 5 and 2by2.
The state lottery said all tickets sold before the outage, including for Saturday's $110 (M) million drawing, will be honored.
Meanwhile, lottery vendors could not offer tickets as they waited for a visit from the lottery technicians.
"They're going to be mad, I'll tell you that right now," said Marsha Youngs of her regular customers at the shop where she works in Lincoln.
A number of the customers come to the U-Stop for the sole purpose of taking their chances at the lottery. The shop had turned away about 30 to 40 prospective lottery ticket buyers since Youngs began her shift at 3 p.m.
Adam Jensen, a worker at an Anderson Food Shop in Omaha, put the number of customers turned away at his store at 50.
"A lot of people have been wanting to buy them today for some reason perhaps because the pot's so big," Jensen said.
Jensen said customers have been a little miffed but not too angry.
He himself is a lottery player, but he's unworried by the delay.
"I can just wait," he said.