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Engineer reported bad Tenn. Lottery computerized draws

Aug 24, 2007, 11:29 am

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Tennessee Lottery was slow to act, even after repeated warnings from many players; many call for the return of real lottery drawings

The Tennessee Lottery appears to have been slow to investigate reports of a major flaw in its new computerized drawing system, even in the face of multiple warnings from players.

Lee Lemonds and his wife watch "The Wheel of Fortune" every night and because the lottery drawing comes on the same television station, they usually see it as well.

It didn't take long for the longtime Hendersonville resident to notice something was just not right.

"Ever since they changed from the ping-pong ball system to the computer, no numbers with two or more like digits were showing up," Lemmonds said, adding statistically that just did not make sense.

"Statistics show that at least 28 percent of the time there should be two or more like digits," the retired engineer and businessman said.

Lemmonds was so concerned over what he saw as a statistically impossibility that Monday he sent a letter to the station manager at WKRN, the television station that broadcasts the lottery drawings.

By Tuesday reports were surfacing that indeed there had been a glitch in the system.

Other Tennesseans say they also voiced concerns about the Cash 3 and Cash 4 games operated by the Tennessee State Lottery.

Earlier in the month, on August 11, members of the Lottery Post web site (www.lotterypost.com) began posting about the flawed computer system.  (See https://www.lotterypost.com/news/161466 for story.)

Some say they were ignored for days, or even weeks, while the computer glitch remained.

Lottery officials announced Tuesday that there had in fact been an error that kept duplicate numbers from being drawn. It was caused, they said, by a keypunch mistake. The problem has since been fixed.

In the very frist drawing after the correction, a duplicate number appeared in the Cash 4 drawing.

In his letter to the television station, Lemmonds questioned the lack of duplicate numbers.

"Since you have changed the method of the drawings, there have been 41 drawings.

None of the drawings have contained two or more like digits," Lemmonds wrote.

[Editor: There were actually a total of 82 Cash 3 and Cash 4 drawings to that point, since the flawed computerized drawing system was installed.]

According to lottery officials, the problem came from Smartplay International Inc, the company that makes the random number generating software.

That company began an investigation when state lottery officials contacted them.

The Tennessee Lottery did not state whether or not they conduct their own series of test draws.  They also did not state why they waited at least 10 days to begin investigating the issue, after the first reports started coming in of flawed drawings.

Players on the Lottery Post web site have called for a boycott of the Tennessee Lottery games until the lottery reverts back to real lottery drawings, with mechanical ball machines.  They refer to similar flawed drawings in other states, all stemming from the installation of computerized drawing systems.

According to the long-time lottery players, real lottery drawings using ball machines are easy to witness, and problems are more easily discoverable.

A petition which calls for the elimination of computerized drawings has been signed by more than 4,000 lottery players.  (See https://www.lotterypost.com/petition-true-drawings.aspx for petition.)

The Lottery Post web site maintains a list of all games played inthe United States, Canada, and United Kingdom, and whether they use genuine lottery drawings or computerized drawings.  (See https://www.lotterypost.com/lottery-report-card.asp for State Lottery Report Card.)

Lemmonds, who said he does not play Cash3 or Cash 4, said he just hopes the problem is fixed as it impacted many players.

"I can't say I was surprised," he said, adding he hopes a similar problem does not occur again.

Hendersonville Star News, Lottery Post Staff

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28 comments. Last comment 13 years ago by LOTTOMIKE.
Page 1 of 2
tnlotto1's avatar - logo
nashville
United States
Member #49894
February 18, 2007
1181 Posts
Offline

some people arent just boycotting the pick3,4 and lotto 5 some people are boycotting even the powerball and scratch offs that are not RNG related just so tennessee can see the players arent happy right now.

    Rocket 455's avatar - rocket
    Bellevue, KY
    United States
    Member #53338
    July 4, 2007
    2967 Posts
    Offline

     "The Tennessee Lottery did not state whether or not they conduct their own series of test draws."

     I thought that after complaints were made the lottery officials said they DID do test draws and that they came up with doubles. People reading this article will be misinformed. Such is media these days...

    "I have no country to fight for; my country is the earth, and I am a citizen of the world." ~Eugene V. Debs

      four4me's avatar - gate1
      MD
      United States
      Member #1701
      June 18, 2003
      9547 Posts
      Offline

       "The Tennessee Lottery did not state whether or not they conduct their own series of test draws."

       I thought that after complaints were made the lottery officials said they DID do test draws and that they came up with doubles. People reading this article will be misinformed. Such is media these days...

      If you go to Tennessean.com and look for the search feature in the upper right hand corner of the page then click news and type in lottery you will get everything they printed about their lottery problems since starting the RNG software.

        psykomo's avatar - animal shark.jpg

        United States
        Member #4877
        May 30, 2004
        5289 Posts
        Offline

        First, all the Lottery officials say computer RNG

        software is the best invention since Tennessee......."whiskey"

        Now the Lottery officials say it is............................"FIXED"

        ??????????????????????????????

        WARNING RNG could be bad for your wallet:

          Avatar

          Zimbabwe
          Member #21
          December 7, 2001
          4530 Posts
          Online

          You know what this reminds me of, Superman III. In the movie near the beginning, the Daily Planet had a raffle for a trip to South America. It was called 'Jingo', a simple mechanical ball drawn machine with a number inside the ball. The objective was to match 4 different numbers. During the picking, Mr. White says, 'Could we get a computer to do this?' Later near the end, they did get a computer. It blew-up during the draw; smoke came rolling out... lol... I can just imagine seeing this going on at the Tennessee Lottery Headquarters; smoke everywhere, jaws dropped in disbelief that it actually failed.

          .

            Guru101's avatar - rw6jhh
            Indiana
            United States
            Member #48723
            January 7, 2007
            1961 Posts
            Offline

            I wonder if anyone who discovered this early tried to take advantage of it by not picking sets with duplicates.

            Gonna win.Big Smile

              Todd's avatar - Cylon 200.jpg
              50
              Chief Bottle Washer
              New Jersey
              United States
              Member #1
              May 31, 2000
              25839 Posts
              Online

               "The Tennessee Lottery did not state whether or not they conduct their own series of test draws."

               I thought that after complaints were made the lottery officials said they DID do test draws and that they came up with doubles. People reading this article will be misinformed. Such is media these days...

              No, that's not true.  The lottery did not officially state if they conducted test draws.  You are thinking of the e-mail replies that went out -- which are NOT the same thing as making a statement.

              The "media" (which is me in this case, since I wrote it) is being very precise in the wording, and it is a very important point.  The lottery may be in a bind, because either they tested it or they didn't, and no matter which position they take (when they eventually take a position), they will have conflicted earlier statements.

              Thus, they are saying nothing on the issue, and hoping that people will not notice.  I have noticed.

               

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

               

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

                Todd's avatar - Cylon 200.jpg
                50
                Chief Bottle Washer
                New Jersey
                United States
                Member #1
                May 31, 2000
                25839 Posts
                Online

                some people arent just boycotting the pick3,4 and lotto 5 some people are boycotting even the powerball and scratch offs that are not RNG related just so tennessee can see the players arent happy right now.

                Good point, and good for you.  I'm glad that this issue is making people stand up and take notice.  It is upsetting to think that any lottery could get away with this by temporarily offering up a mere 20% prize increase.  Then, it's back to business as usual.  Maybe if enough people hold on to their money they will be force to do something mroe radical.  Perhaps maybe even to listen to the players, who almost universally hate computerized drawings.

                 

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

                 

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

                  Avatar
                  Columbia City, Indiana
                  United States
                  Member #2978
                  December 9, 2003
                  381 Posts
                  Offline

                    from the article:

                    Lemmonds, who said he does not play Cash3 or Cash 4, said he just hopes the problem is fixed as it impacted many players.

                    "I can't say I was surprised," he said, adding he hopes a similar problem does not occur again.

                  ____________________________________

                    It's a pretty sad commentary when someone who doesn't even play the daily games notices the same anomalies we see in these faux drawings. Unfortunately, we know with relative certainty that this will happen again, whether in Tennessee's lottery or in the next state to jump on the "industry trends" bandwagon.

                    There is only ONE reason that state lotteries would switch from mechanical drawings to electronic RNG's: It makes it much easier to control and manipulate their payouts in order to maximize profits. The lotteries have a built-in shield which protects them from close scrutiny; most people simply refuse to believe their state officials could be so blatantly dishonest. They argue, "The lotteries would never do anything like that intentionally, because look at what would happen if they got caught."

                    Well, I can only say that they've already been caught many, many times, and we all know what happened in every single instance: Nothing. "Don't be ridiculous," they tell us, "it was a simple programming error, and it wasn't even our fault. There is no conspiracy to limit payouts and you're being paranoid. Besides, given the level of integrity we claim to observe, you can be assured that if this ever happens again, we'll take any steps necessary to see that you don't find out about it." 

                    Okay. But what about Minnesota? What about Colorado? What about Delaware? What about Indiana? What about ...  "Yeah, yeah; we've all heard those urban legends and horror stories from other states that use electronic drawing machines, but that doesn't mean they're not reliable. RNG's are fast becoming the industry standard, and we don't want to be left behind. Look at how cool they are!"

                    I can't keep other people from playing their state's lottery games. I can only refuse to give them MY money, so I haven't played a single Hoosier Lottery game since June 4, 2003, when sales manager Marina Bookout told me that the Hoosier Lottery tracks player selections as they're being sold. No other lottery in the country does this. Each of us must step up and vote his own conscience; if you don't believe these machines can be manipulated, nothing I say here will convince you otherwise, and so I'll wish you lots of luck. On the other hand, if you've seen the evidence LosingJeff and I have posted here on the forum, if you've read the myriad of news stories Todd has posted, you know what these RNG's and their keepers are capable of (pardon my grammar). They KNOW that if anyone questions their methods, all they have to do is play the paranoia card, and it will all go away in a few days.

                    This trend will continue unchallenged unless and until we secure federal legislation which bans their use in any state-sponsored lottery game. This isn't going to happen until the rest of you get fed up enough to put your names on Todd's petition. LotteryPost.com IS the Players' Lobby. We have members from all over the world, and many of you are experts on your chosen games. We CAN make this happen, because there is no greater collection of lottery players anywhere on the globe. Sending emails and making phone calls is fast and easy, but writing a certified letter is much more satisfying, and your message will last longer in the mind of the recipient. When enough letters begin pouring into the lottery's mailbox, they'll be forced to recognize us. Anyone can delete an email or hang up a phone, but how many of us can pitch an unopened certified letter? 

                    Anything worth doing is worth some effort, so open a blank document and start typing. It'll cost you two lottery tickets and change to send your letter via Certified Mail but, if you live in Tennessee or Indiana, the tickets you'll sacrifice were probably losers, anyway.

                    The time for us to pull together is here. If we unite for this common cause, we can and will achieve our objectives; if we continue on our current, individual paths of isolationism, we'll have only ourselves to blame when more states embrace and adopt this technology.

                  Come, Pinky; we must prepare for tomorrow night...

                  Jim

                    Avatar

                    Zimbabwe
                    Member #21
                    December 7, 2001
                    4530 Posts
                    Online

                    I have to commend those Lottery Post members and non-members who brought this issue up here and with the Tennessee Lottery. They could have said nothing knowing the problem existed and made a nice tidy profit from Tennessee Lottery's self-induced ignorance. My hat is off to you. You showed the lottery officials and the public what honesty and integrity looks like.

                    .

                      Rocket 455's avatar - rocket
                      Bellevue, KY
                      United States
                      Member #53338
                      July 4, 2007
                      2967 Posts
                      Offline

                      No, that's not true.  The lottery did not officially state if they conducted test draws.  You are thinking of the e-mail replies that went out -- which are NOT the same thing as making a statement.

                      The "media" (which is me in this case, since I wrote it) is being very precise in the wording, and it is a very important point.  The lottery may be in a bind, because either they tested it or they didn't, and no matter which position they take (when they eventually take a position), they will have conflicted earlier statements.

                      Thus, they are saying nothing on the issue, and hoping that people will not notice.  I have noticed.

                       I apologize for assuming that the H'ville Star News left out the part of the emails stating that the TN Lottery had indeed done tests. At any rate, e-mails these days must have SOME validity or else so many people at the top wouldn't be deleting them left and right. Yes it's very important that the players who threw down their good money on doubles and triples get the whole story. Thank you Todd for doing your part! I'll try to read the whole post before commenting in the future.

                      "I have no country to fight for; my country is the earth, and I am a citizen of the world." ~Eugene V. Debs

                        Todd's avatar - Cylon 200.jpg
                        50
                        Chief Bottle Washer
                        New Jersey
                        United States
                        Member #1
                        May 31, 2000
                        25839 Posts
                        Online

                         I apologize for assuming that the H'ville Star News left out the part of the emails stating that the TN Lottery had indeed done tests. At any rate, e-mails these days must have SOME validity or else so many people at the top wouldn't be deleting them left and right. Yes it's very important that the players who threw down their good money on doubles and triples get the whole story. Thank you Todd for doing your part! I'll try to read the whole post before commenting in the future.

                        There are several ways that I put together news stories.  Sometimes I write them myself.  Sometimes I post directly from another media source.  And sometimes I put together a piece that uses bits from other sources, and the rest I write myself.

                        The article able is the third type of story.  If you check the Source at the bottom you will see "Huntsville Star News, Lottery Post Staff".  That means I took bits from the Huntsville Star News story, and wrote the rest myself.  So to say that the HSN left out something is not really the case, since the story is really my own doing.  If anyone left something out, it was me.

                        However, I don't think there was anything left out.  An e-mail sent to people from an unknown source within the lottery is not a verified news source.  Many times such e-mails are written by underlings, without direct input from officials.  That would not make it an "official" statement.  It's more like good info that should be confirmed by an official.  The information posted to their web site can be considered "official".

                        I am indeed trying to get the whole story.  I think that much is apparent.  I am also trying to do so in a way that exposes as much as possible, while remaining ethical and factual.

                        I hope this clears things up.  It's not an exact science.

                         

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

                         

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

                          Avatar
                          Coastal Georgia
                          United States
                          Member #2653
                          October 30, 2003
                          1866 Posts
                          Offline

                          Did anyone catch the toll free number that the Tennessee lottery gave out to call for info ?

                          It is a sex chat line !!!!      Stooges

                           

                          I saw this on CNN today.

                           

                                                         

                                        

                           

                           

                            Jani Norman's avatar - fiftyways
                            100
                            OHIO
                            United States
                            Member #4164
                            March 27, 2004
                            14585 Posts
                            Offline

                            If you go to Tennessean.com and look for the search feature in the upper right hand corner of the page then click news and type in lottery you will get everything they printed about their lottery problems since starting the RNG software.

                            http://search.tennessean.com/sp?aff=100&keywords=lottery

                            "I am what I am by the grace of God."

                            Kitfany

                            http://www.ohiolottery.com/