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Players warned lottery about tickets flaw

Tennessee LotteryTennessee Lottery: Players warned lottery about tickets flaw
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Tennessee lottery players say they warned lottery officials more than 10 days ago that a new computerized system to pick random numbers in the Cash 3 and Cash 4 games appeared to be malfunctioning.

They say they were ignored for days while a computer software glitch kept duplicate numbers from being drawn in the games. That meant players who picked numbers like 6-6-9 in Cash 3 or 5-5-5-3 in Cash 4 had no chance of winning.

Lottery officials announced Tuesday that the glitch had been corrected but affected twice daily games from the day the new system, which cost the lottery $221,200, was installed, July 28, through Aug. 20.

"It's just kind of odd it went so long without anybody noticing it and with people calling and sending e-mails about it, and they still said there was no problem," said Allen Lowe, a player who lives in Clarksville.

Lowe said he began sending e-mail messages through the lottery Web site the weekend of Aug. 11 when the drawings produced no duplicated number.

He said the lottery replied with a message saying others had made similar inquiries but testing by security staff showed no problems, with double digits coming up in the random test draws.

Larry Duck, a lottery enthusiast who monitored the numbers from Maryland, also sent the lottery e-mails beginning about the same time as Lowe, getting the same boilerplate response, he said. He said he began making calls Aug. 14 or 15 but could not get through to anyone in authority. He said he later sent an e-mail to Ann Butterworth in the state Comptroller's Office. Butterworth said in reply that members of the comptroller's office had contacted lottery officials.

"I am so disappointed what has happened there," Duck said. "We genuinely would like to see all United States lotteries revert back to the original ball drawings."

Keypunch error to blame

Lottery spokeswoman Kym Gerlock said the lottery response might have seemed delayed to some players, but days can pass before duplicate numbers come up in a draw. Once in April 2006 and again in February 2007, duplicate numbers did not come up for 16 days in a row, she said.

"It can happen,'' Gerlock said. "The important thing is that we caught it when we did. [Editor: After 82 bad drawings were conducted and millions of invalid tickets sold] The problem has been fixed, and we are going to do the best we can to make players whole."

The problem was the result of a keypunch error by an employee of Smartplay International Inc., the company that makes the random number generating software, lottery officials said. The employee typed in a "u" for "unique" instead of an "r" for "repeat" in the computer code, they said.

Company investigated

Smartplay issued a news release Wednesday saying that the company began an investigation when Tennessee officials alerted them to the lack of duplicate numbers and corrected the settings immediately.

The news release noted that Gaming Laboratories Inc. tested the system and found no flaws.

James Maida, president of Gaming Laboratories, said the flaw was hidden in 1,400 lines of computer code [Editor: that's not a lot] that a Gaming employee failed to catch. Because of how the tests are conducted, the tests done on the system showed that it was generating duplicate numbers, but the system did not function properly when it went live July 28.

"We feel badly for what occurred," Maida said. The lottery was charged about $5,000 for the testing work, he said.

The company handles virtually all testing of similar systems in the United States and has retested all the systems and determined that the problem was confined to Tennessee, Maida said.

Gov. Phil Bredesen told The Associated Press that the programming mistake was a "blip" on the lottery's otherwise strong track record.

He told the AP it probably would not affect bonuses paid out to lottery officials based on sales. Lottery chief Rebecca Hargrove's bonuses can amount to 65 percent of her more than $380,000 annual salary, the AP said.

Tennessean

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13 comments. Last comment 9 years ago by jeffrey.
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four4me's avatar - gate1
MD
United States
Member #1701
June 18, 2003
8362 Posts
Online
Posted: August 23, 2007, 11:48 am - IP Logged

Well it seems that they didn't quite check their stats correctly. I don't see a 16 day in a row gap where doubles weren't drawn. Did i miss something or do i have to go get some better glasses. They shouldn't keep trying to pass what happened off as some fluke. pardon me if i missed any doubles because there are a lot of them and i wanted to get this up on the Lotterypost.com board.

Tennessee February 2007
Drawing DatePick 3Pick 4
MiddayEveningMiddayEvening
Wed, Feb 28, 2007
9-4-85-9-76-2-9-86-2-1-4
Tue, Feb 27, 20072-4-25-5-06-7-8-58-3-4-5
Mon, Feb 26, 20076-0-97-2-51-3-6-94-7-6-1
Sun, Feb 25, 20075-8-80-7-3-7
Sat, Feb 24, 20072-2-00-8-88-2-7-76-3-0-1
Fri, Feb 23, 20078-0-88-3-31-5-7-89-0-3-5
Thu, Feb 22, 20078-8-64-4-87-4-3-04-7-8-2
Wed, Feb 21, 20071-7-20-0-79-3-5-54-0-5-6
Tue, Feb 20, 20071-4-28-5-44-4-7-42-0-8-4
Mon, Feb 19, 20079-6-70-4-02-1-8-17-7-9-5
Sun, Feb 18, 20078-5-01-7-3-4
Sat, Feb 17, 20079-7-80-9-28-9-7-24-8-5-6
Fri, Feb 16, 20070-6-96-2-72-8-7-49-2-2-3
Thu, Feb 15, 20076-5-66-7-85-6-6-48-6-4-8
Wed, Feb 14, 20071-9-76-6-39-2-1-99-4-7-8
Tue, Feb 13, 20074-2-11-7-39-4-8-88-9-9-6
Mon, Feb 12, 20073-7-94-2-63-0-1-86-9-6-4
Sun, Feb 11, 20079-5-32-5-8-4
Sat, Feb 10, 20073-1-93-7-17-2-8-11-6-8-8
Fri, Feb 9, 20071-4-01-4-66-9-0-16-1-0-7
Thu, Feb 8, 20076-0-02-5-33-5-9-38-7-3-1
Wed, Feb 7, 20074-6-55-1-77-7-3-64-4-2-3
Tue, Feb 6, 20072-8-32-0-99-5-1-24-9-5-1
Mon, Feb 5, 20070-7-94-4-40-7-7-89-6-3-9
Sun, Feb 4, 20076-4-56-2-9-6
Sat, Feb 3, 20075-2-75-6-04-4-6-13-1-6-7
Fri, Feb 2, 20075-4-54-7-82-9-9-87-3-7-5
Thu, Feb 1, 20074-1-33-4-77-6-7-12-9-7-9
Tennessee
 lottery numbers for April 2006
Drawing DatePick 3Pick 4
MiddayEveningMiddayEvening
Sun, Apr 30, 20067-9-68-3-3-8
Sat, Apr 29, 20068-7-96-6-25-1-5-65-5-9-5
Fri, Apr 28, 20063-3-68-6-28-7-2-30-8-6-8
Thu, Apr 27, 20069-4-46-5-87-4-2-38-8-5-6
Wed, Apr 26, 20069-9-68-9-26-5-0-90-7-9-4
Tue, Apr 25, 20062-7-92-8-47-8-5-45-4-2-3
Mon, Apr 24, 20066-4-10-7-66-3-4-07-3-7-5
Sun, Apr 23, 20062-3-25-3-7-2
Sat, Apr 22, 20064-7-61-2-40-7-8-08-9-7-8
Fri, Apr 21, 20069-7-67-0-09-1-9-53-4-4-7
Thu, Apr 20, 20060-2-12-5-52-4-9-38-2-6-3
Wed, Apr 19, 20066-6-35-1-22-5-5-59-7-1-2
Tue, Apr 18, 20062-5-59-3-70-4-6-58-2-4-6
Mon, Apr 17, 20061-9-85-6-79-7-6-43-6-6-2
Sun, Apr 16, 20061-3-51-7-7-4
Sat, Apr 15, 20068-2-87-8-17-4-6-84-5-8-7
Fri, Apr 14, 20062-7-70-1-67-2-6-03-6-6-3
Thu, Apr 13, 20068-0-73-7-27-9-2-63-2-4-9
Wed, Apr 12, 20065-2-17-5-80-1-1-22-5-7-0
Tue, Apr 11, 20063-9-24-3-63-5-2-19-5-0-2
Mon, Apr 10, 20061-6-77-8-27-7-5-91-7-9-3
Sun, Apr 9, 20066-9-83-9-9-9
Sat, Apr 8, 20067-0-86-4-87-6-1-72-6-2-7
Fri, Apr 7, 20062-5-26-7-19-5-6-29-8-3-6
Thu, Apr 6, 20069-1-59-1-18-3-9-14-3-5-9
Wed, Apr 5, 20062-7-63-9-28-2-5-47-3-2-9
Tue, Apr 4, 20066-8-06-7-57-7-5-82-3-2-5
Mon, Apr 3, 20067-3-88-0-69-8-0-45-6-5-1
Sun, Apr 2, 20066-4-26-7-0-7
Sat, Apr 1, 20065-4-69-5-44-7-2-69-6-1-3
    Avatar
    Delaware
    United States
    Member #30273
    January 14, 2006
    494 Posts
    Offline
    Posted: August 23, 2007, 11:58 am - IP Logged

    If Kentucky were really smart about this, they could plaster Nashville area freeways with billboards advertising that they don't use misprogramed computers to pick lottery numbers.

      Avatar
      Coastal Georgia
      United States
      Member #2653
      October 30, 2003
      1866 Posts
      Offline
      Posted: August 23, 2007, 12:00 pm - IP Logged

      Gov. Phil Bredesen told The Associated Press that the programming mistake was a "blip" on the lottery's otherwise strong track record.

      He told the AP it probably would not affect bonuses paid out to lottery officials based on sales. Lottery chief Rebecca Hargrove's bonuses can amount to 65 percent of her more than $380,000 annual salary, the AP said.

       

      This is comforting to know......

       

                                     

                    

       

       

        Avatar
        Indiana
        United States
        Member #29196
        December 29, 2005
        280 Posts
        Offline
        Posted: August 23, 2007, 1:05 pm - IP Logged

        This is absolutely the best opportunity that has ever been presented for ridding the lotteries of RNG's!

        Look at how many lies the Tennesse Lottery has been caught in so far.

        1. They said this type of thing could never happen with an RNG.  State of the art technology!  Keeping up with industry trends!  Pfffffbbbbbttttt!  It has happend before...it happened this time and it will happen again. 

        2. They said they tested the RNG and got doubles.  We now know that can't be true because the program was written so that it couldn't produce doubles...presumably triples and quads too!  Let's not forget that!

        3. They said it's not unsual for doubles not to occur for long periods of time.  It happened twice before and they gave specifics.  Thanks to "4" we know they are lying again.

        4. They said they have no idea how many doubles and again presumably triples and quads were sold!  Nonsense!  They know exactly how many were sold!  The lottery terminals tells them exactly what numbers were played...when and where. 

        5. The Tennessee Lottery blamed the vendor for the problem.  But read the vendor's statement carefully.  They claim they tested it and it was working when it left them.  The problem occured when it went on line in Tennessee.  So what really happened?  Did the vendor make a programming error?  Or did something change between the time it left the vendor and went on line?  Remember it was tested and presumably certified by the vendor and by an outside consultant and then again by the Tennesse lottery after receiving so many complaints. 

        And get this...the biggest lie of all...Our Director's bonus is based on profit.  The fact that we sold millions of tickets that had no chance to win and therefore generated more profit won't affect her bouns at all.

        This bonus information that has come out in the last few days is perhaps the most damning piece of information yet.  Consider this:

        RNG's can be flawed or manipulated.  When either occurs the Lottery pays out fewer winners and makes more profits.  A Lottery Director's bonus is directly related to the profits.  So who benefits from the decision to go to an RNG?  Well the citizens of the great state of Tennessee who get more money for the kiddie's education!  And of course the Director who made the decision to switch to RNG.  Maybe by as much as $200,000 in HER OWN pocket!

        I hope the god people of Tennessee don't fall for this nonsense.  I hope the press doesn't lose interest in this in the next few days.  There needs to be a serious criminal investigation here.  Director Paul needs to forfeit her bonus and then resign.  The Tennesse Lottery then needs to go back to ball drawing machines...EVEN if it means LESS MONEY for Education. 

        So what if we screw the players?  We can't let the poor kiddies education and our own bonuses suffer!  Perish the thought!

        I have a new slogan for the Tennessee Lottery:

        The Hoosier Lottery has come to Tennessee!

        Jim


        Money frees you from doing things you dislike.  Since I dislike doing nearly everything, money is handy.  - Groucho Marx

          tnlotto1's avatar - logo
          nashville
          United States
          Member #49896
          February 18, 2007
          1181 Posts
          Offline
          Posted: August 23, 2007, 2:18 pm - IP Logged

          If Kentucky were really smart about this, they could plaster Nashville area freeways with billboards advertising that they don't use misprogramed computers to pick lottery numbers.

          kentucky plays commercials for their lottery and games on the radio here in nashville so i hope tennesseans take their money to georgia or kentucky in protest of  the RNG crap

            BobP's avatar - bobp avatar.png
            Dump Water Florida
            United States
            Member #380
            June 5, 2002
            3104 Posts
            Offline
            Posted: August 23, 2007, 2:28 pm - IP Logged

            I don't get it. What kind of lottery players are these?  This kind of unbroken streak is what lottery players live for.  What an advantage not having to worry about doubles, triples or quads turning up.  Oooooooh the lottery isn't hard enough to win, please fix it so we can lose our money faster, weird.  Tip, when you see advantage in a game, it's a limited time oppertunity, grab it!!!

            BobP


              Avatar
              Indiana
              United States
              Member #29196
              December 29, 2005
              280 Posts
              Offline
              Posted: August 23, 2007, 2:39 pm - IP Logged

              I don't get it. What kind of lottery players are these?  This kind of unbroken streak is what lottery players live for.  What an advantage not having to worry about doubles, triples or quads turning up.  Oooooooh the lottery isn't hard enough to win, please fix it so we can lose our money faster, weird.  Tip, when you see advantage in a game, it's a limited time oppertunity, grab it!!!

              BobP


              Bob,

              So I take it from you remarks that you are in favor of an RNG drawing that excludes some number combinations from winning? 

              Jim 


              Money frees you from doing things you dislike.  Since I dislike doing nearly everything, money is handy.  - Groucho Marx

                Todd's avatar - Cylon 2.gif
                Chief Bottle Washer
                New Jersey
                United States
                Member #1
                May 31, 2000
                23267 Posts
                Offline
                Posted: August 23, 2007, 3:33 pm - IP Logged

                This is absolutely the best opportunity that has ever been presented for ridding the lotteries of RNG's!

                Look at how many lies the Tennesse Lottery has been caught in so far.

                1. They said this type of thing could never happen with an RNG.  State of the art technology!  Keeping up with industry trends!  Pfffffbbbbbttttt!  It has happend before...it happened this time and it will happen again. 

                2. They said they tested the RNG and got doubles.  We now know that can't be true because the program was written so that it couldn't produce doubles...presumably triples and quads too!  Let's not forget that!

                3. They said it's not unsual for doubles not to occur for long periods of time.  It happened twice before and they gave specifics.  Thanks to "4" we know they are lying again.

                4. They said they have no idea how many doubles and again presumably triples and quads were sold!  Nonsense!  They know exactly how many were sold!  The lottery terminals tells them exactly what numbers were played...when and where. 

                5. The Tennessee Lottery blamed the vendor for the problem.  But read the vendor's statement carefully.  They claim they tested it and it was working when it left them.  The problem occured when it went on line in Tennessee.  So what really happened?  Did the vendor make a programming error?  Or did something change between the time it left the vendor and went on line?  Remember it was tested and presumably certified by the vendor and by an outside consultant and then again by the Tennesse lottery after receiving so many complaints. 

                And get this...the biggest lie of all...Our Director's bonus is based on profit.  The fact that we sold millions of tickets that had no chance to win and therefore generated more profit won't affect her bouns at all.

                This bonus information that has come out in the last few days is perhaps the most damning piece of information yet.  Consider this:

                RNG's can be flawed or manipulated.  When either occurs the Lottery pays out fewer winners and makes more profits.  A Lottery Director's bonus is directly related to the profits.  So who benefits from the decision to go to an RNG?  Well the citizens of the great state of Tennessee who get more money for the kiddie's education!  And of course the Director who made the decision to switch to RNG.  Maybe by as much as $200,000 in HER OWN pocket!

                I hope the god people of Tennessee don't fall for this nonsense.  I hope the press doesn't lose interest in this in the next few days.  There needs to be a serious criminal investigation here.  Director Paul needs to forfeit her bonus and then resign.  The Tennesse Lottery then needs to go back to ball drawing machines...EVEN if it means LESS MONEY for Education. 

                So what if we screw the players?  We can't let the poor kiddies education and our own bonuses suffer!  Perish the thought!

                I have a new slogan for the Tennessee Lottery:

                The Hoosier Lottery has come to Tennessee!

                Jim

                This is the best anaylsis so far on the situation.  Thank you for bringing all those elements together into one post.

                There are so many utterly clueless people out there who are saying, "Wow, bigger  payouts for 23 days!  The lottery really made it up to us -- they did the right thing!"

                That is a clueless thing to say.  The lottery is making a lot more money off of everyone than their piddly payout will compensate.  Notice that the lottery never reaches into their pocket -- which is a REAL compensation.  They give back a tiny bit more money AFTER it has been given to them by all the players (in the form of tickets).

                They feel NONE of the pain they have caused to thousands of people when those people bought useless tickets.

                The media is not asking the right questions.  They are not probing deep enough.  Do something about it -- protect your readers!

                 

                Check the State Lottery Report Card
                What grade did your lottery earn?

                 

                Sign the Petition for True Lottery Drawings
                Help eliminate computerized drawings!

                  Rick G's avatar - avatar 1766.jpg
                  FEMA Region V Camp #21
                  United States
                  Member #520
                  July 27, 2002
                  5699 Posts
                  Offline
                  Posted: August 23, 2007, 3:58 pm - IP Logged

                  When they say the program was tested, I'm assuming they did a minimum of 10,000 draws for the test.  All stats should have equaled or come close to what Todd's Inspector determines in the same amount of draws.

                  The only conclusions that can be drawn are:

                  A. The company that tested the program used a considerably subordinate amount of draws for the test (and got paid $5K for it) or more likely,

                  B. Rebecca is lying through her teeth to get the bonus she so richly deserves.

                  Boycott, boycott, boycott! 

                  Posted 4/6:  IL Pick 3 midday and evening until they hit:  555, 347 (str8).


                    CARBOB's avatar - FL LOTTERY_LOGO.png
                    ORLANDO, FLORIDA
                    United States
                    Member #4924
                    June 3, 2004
                    5896 Posts
                    Offline
                    Posted: August 23, 2007, 4:52 pm - IP Logged

                    Posted by Uncle Jim

                    5. The Tennessee Lottery blamed the vendor for the problem.  But read the vendor's statement carefully.  They claim they tested it and it was working when it left them.  The problem occured when it went on line in Tennessee.  So what really happened?  Did the vendor make a programming error?  Or did something change between the time it left the vendor and went on line?  Remember it was tested and presumably certified by the vendor and by an outside consultant and then again by the Tennesse lottery after receiving so many complaints

                    If everyting in that statement is true. Then a programmer at Tenn Lottery Hq., probably made a "killing". As Todd gave an example on another post. A few lines of code changed, can produce any number you want it to be.

                      Avatar
                      Indiana
                      United States
                      Member #29196
                      December 29, 2005
                      280 Posts
                      Offline
                      Posted: August 23, 2007, 5:59 pm - IP Logged

                      OK...let's let their own words prove the truth of the statement:

                      First from the Tennessee Lottery:

                      "Hargrove said a programmer for the vendor, New Jersey based Smartplay International Inc., made a keystroke error when setting the parameters for Cash 3 and Cash 4, typing a "u" for unique instead of an "r" for repeat."

                      Next from a second vendor who conducted the security tests...NOT Smartplay:

                      "James Maida, president of Gaming Laboratories, said the flaw was hidden in 1,400 lines of computer code that a Gaming employee failed to catch.  Because of how the tests are conducted, the tests done on the system showed that it was generating duplicate numbers, but the system did not function properly when it went live July 28."

                      Now again from the Tennessee Lottery:

                      "...We had some other inquiries about the lack of double digit winning numbers so we had our security staff run several random test draws, and double digits were drawn."

                      So we have the Tennesse Lottery saying that the vendor (Smartplay Inc.) programmed the RNG so that it could not produce repeat numbers.

                      Then we have a second vendor (Gaming Laboratories) saying that this prgramming error was hidden and went undected at Smartplay...and because of the way Gaming Laboratories conducted their tests it went undected there too and they actually got repeat numbers.  BUT the Tennessee Lottery did not get any repeat numbers when the system went live!  

                      Then the Tennessee Lottery says their own security staff conducted several tests and despite the programming that made it impossible to get a repeat number...they got them! 

                      So we are asked to believe that 3 seperate entities...Smartplay...Gaming Laboratories and the Tennessee Lottery all conducted tests and all got doubles but when the system went live it failed to produce doubles due to a hidden programming flaw that Nobody could detect and that foooled the security experts by producing doubles in test draws.

                      So  the bottom line is...the much vaunted RNG worked in the tests but not in the real live draws.  Is that what we're suppossed to believe?  If that's the case how can any RNG anywhere be trusted? 

                      As I said in a previous post this is the best opportunity Ever to rid ourselves of RNG's

                      Don't let go of this and keep the pressure on the press to dig!

                      This whole thing stinks and these people need to be held accountable for both their actions and their words!

                      Jim 


                      Money frees you from doing things you dislike.  Since I dislike doing nearly everything, money is handy.  - Groucho Marx

                        Avatar
                        Georgia
                        United States
                        Member #49384
                        January 29, 2007
                        113 Posts
                        Offline
                        Posted: August 23, 2007, 6:53 pm - IP Logged

                        Love to have ya'll down here in GA; rated A+ this site.

                          jeffrey's avatar - moon
                          Hamilton, OH
                          United States
                          Member #4162
                          March 27, 2004
                          277 Posts
                          Offline
                          Posted: August 23, 2007, 11:28 pm - IP Logged

                          Do you remember the lotteries in George Orwell's "1984"?  I wonder who "Big Brother" is? (Hint: Who gains the most?)