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FLASH: Tennessee Lottery audit won't investigate drawing errors

Tennessee LotteryTennessee Lottery: FLASH: Tennessee Lottery audit won't investigate drawing errors
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Out-of-control situation gets worse 

Legislators shocked to learn investigation won't study why errors occurred

The Tennessee Lottery hired an outside auditor after a computer issue affected the Cash 3 and Cash 4 games in August, but the auditor will not examine why the system failed.

Lottery officials previously said KPMG would be paid about $90,000 to look into the problem that kept repeat numbers from being drawn for those games for more than three weeks in August.

But a letter obtained by The Tennessean under an open-records request shows that KPMG has been asked to determine only whether the computers now are working properly.

The co-chairmen of a joint legislative committee set to review the audit in early November said that was not what they were told the auditors were going to review.

"What's the sense of doing the audit?'' said Sen. Bill Ketron, R-Murfreesboro, one co-chairman. "That just doesn't make sense to me. I thought the whole purpose was about what happened, what created the glitch."

"If that's all they are going to do, then to me it's worthless," said Rep. Ulysses Jones Jr., D-Memphis, the other
co-chairman.

The lottery's internal auditor will look into "operational issues" related to how the glitch happened, lottery spokeswoman Kym Gerlock said.

"It has always been our intent to thoroughly review the issue that occurred with the Cash 3 and Cash 4 random number generators and to ensure they are working properly, and that is precisely what we are doing,'' Gerlock said.

Gerlock made that basic statement several ways in response to questions about why KPMG would not address the origin of the mistake, or how to prevent it from happening again.

More data sought

Lottery officials have said the game became flawed when a computer programmer entered the wrong letter — a "u" for unique instead of an "r" for repeat. As a result, repeat numbers were blocked, even though players could still buy tickets with repeat numbers.

The internal audit was prompted by James H. Ripley, a Sevierville attorney who heads the 3-year-old lottery's audit group.

He asked for an investigation into the error and whether fraud could have been involved. That work is continuing, Gerlock said.

Ketron called an internal audit of the glitch "the fox guarding the henhouse."

He said he planned to send state Comptroller John Morgan a letter today asking him to look at the contracts for the computerized system. The senator said he wanted to know the circumstances that led the lottery on July 28 to switch from a system in which numbered balls popped up in transparent containers to a computer-run system that picked the numbers.

"I had a lot of phone calls from people inside and outside the state who are questioning the honesty of this new computer system,'' Ketron said.

Jones said he would send lottery director Rebecca Paul Hargrove a letter by Friday asking for more information about the KPMG audit. He said an internal lottery audit would only raise more suspicions.

Lottery officials have blamed the coding error on an employee of lottery vendor SmartPlay International Inc., which was paid $221,300 to supply two number-picking computers.

Mike Calabrese, a lottery player from Gallatin, said he cut back on playing Cash 3 and Cash 4 when the lottery made the switch from the ball-drop system.

"I do not like the computerized version,'' he said. "I just don't trust it."

Tennessean

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25 comments. Last comment 9 years ago by LckyLary.
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ToadSchmode's avatar - aquas1

United States
Member #53834
July 23, 2007
467 Posts
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Posted: October 3, 2007, 12:34 pm - IP Logged

"Lottery officials have said the game became flawed when a computer programmer entered the wrong letter — a "u" for unique instead of an "r" for repeat. As a result, repeat numbers were blocked, even though players could still buy tickets with repeat numbers."

This is random??? To me it clearly shows the program can be manipulated at any time.

Too many trips or quads played that day and the state doesn't want to pay.   Hey charlie, set the draw for "U"  today!

QUIT PLAYING!!!! Make'em pay for their mistakes. 

Only know you've been high when your feeling low...Passenger Guitar

    KyMystikal's avatar - 1457224010054
    Florence, Alabama
    United States
    Member #8658
    November 13, 2004
    1993 Posts
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    Posted: October 3, 2007, 12:40 pm - IP Logged

    "Lottery officials have said the game became flawed when a computer programmer entered the wrong letter — a "u" for unique instead of an "r" for repeat. As a result, repeat numbers were blocked, even though players could still buy tickets with repeat numbers."

    This is random??? To me it clearly shows the program can be manipulated at any time.

    Too many trips or quads played that day and the state doesn't want to pay.   Hey charlie, set the draw for "U"  today!

    QUIT PLAYING!!!! Make'em pay for their mistakes. 

    I agree with the quit playing. They never should have switched the format of the drawings without consulting the players. Players should stop playing so we can have a voice that will be heard.

    I love doubles and remember, it's just a game!!!!!!

      tnlotto1's avatar - logo
      nashville
      United States
      Member #49896
      February 18, 2007
      1181 Posts
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      Posted: October 3, 2007, 1:11 pm - IP Logged

      I agree with the quit playing. They never should have switched the format of the drawings without consulting the players. Players should stop playing so we can have a voice that will be heard.

      i was happy when i heard there would be an audit i thought we could get some straight answers but now i see there is no checks and balances with the tennessee lottery they can keep cheating the players in this state if the players keep playing. you are right toad and kymystikal the boycott of this lottery must continue

        konane's avatar - wallace
        Atlanta, GA
        United States
        Member #1265
        March 13, 2003
        3333 Posts
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        Posted: October 3, 2007, 1:35 pm - IP Logged

        Dead skunk in the middle of the road smelling to high heaven!!! 

        Good luck to everyone!

          joshuacloak's avatar - Money Swim-uncle-scrooge-mcduck-35997717-677-518.jpg

          United States
          Member #32537
          February 12, 2006
          698 Posts
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          Posted: October 3, 2007, 2:01 pm - IP Logged

          audit FOR SHOW

          not for results,

           lmao

            four4me's avatar - gate1
            MD
            United States
            Member #1701
            June 18, 2003
            8363 Posts
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            Posted: October 3, 2007, 3:14 pm - IP Logged

            The legislators ought to jump in and speak up for the people. We could care less about how the computers are working now in fact we would be grateful if they tossed the junk computers in the trash or donated them to some school.

            After all it was the glitch that caused people to notice and people tried on numerous occasions to get them to look into their computer problem and they denied having one.

            It is clear to the players now that at the keystroke of the computer they can manipulate the drawings. And i presume at their convenience as well.

            If anything the legislators should be forcing them to stop all computer drawings and continue using the mechanical drawing machines.

            An audit to check if the machines are working properly now is a cover up of any wrong doing on Rebecca's and her staffs part.  

              JADELottery's avatar - MeAtWork 03.PNG
              The Quantum Master
              West Concord, MN
              United States
              Member #21
              December 7, 2001
              3675 Posts
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              Posted: October 3, 2007, 3:15 pm - IP Logged

              Boycott People... in and around Tennessee... Boycott...  Stop buying, Stop buying.

              Demand it People... Answers.... Demand it People... You deserve it... Start the protests People.

              Don't sit back and let this one go by!!!!

              You deserve better!!!

              Presented 'AS IS' and for Entertainment Purposes Only.
              Any gain or loss is your responsibility.
              Use at your own risk.

              Order is a Subset of Chaos
              Knowledge is Beyond Belief
              Wisdom is Not Censored
              Douglas Paul Smallish
              Jehocifer

                BobP's avatar - bobp avatar.png
                Dump Water Florida
                United States
                Member #380
                June 5, 2002
                3104 Posts
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                Posted: October 3, 2007, 3:31 pm - IP Logged

                The simple truth is they LIED !!!  They said the drawings could not be tampered with. Here is the very proof the draw can be tampered with !!!  The lottery can change the result to avoid a problem draw by selecting U or R.  Let's say they have a huge sale of 911 on 9/11 they can choose to avoid a repeating digit coming up for that draw. Why would such an option be in there? What other draw changing options are in there?  They got caught !!!  

                BobP

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                  pittsburgh
                  United States
                  Member #51040
                  March 25, 2007
                  457 Posts
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                  Posted: October 3, 2007, 5:08 pm - IP Logged

                  here in pennsylvania the daytime lottery is computer generated and the night time are the balls. to me random means that anything can happen. so i just get that from the numbers 0 thru 9 .              10 times means atleast 7 different numbers should come up out of 10 drawings. so because of that computer picked numbers want to try their best to keep it pretty much even.  so that makes the computer numbers  kind of predictable,. with the balls that is totally random because u never know which way the ball is going to fall or which ball make it to the hole first. so anyway i hit mostly on the daytime numbers because its like almost u can see what the computer is going to pick. so you take the stab at it. with the balls you have to watch, cross your fingers, and hope ur ball(s) make it up the hole first. 

                    Guru101's avatar - rw6jhh
                    Indiana
                    United States
                    Member #48725
                    January 7, 2007
                    1954 Posts
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                    Posted: October 3, 2007, 6:09 pm - IP Logged

                    The simple truth is they LIED !!!  They said the drawings could not be tampered with. Here is the very proof the draw can be tampered with !!!  The lottery can change the result to avoid a problem draw by selecting U or R.  Let's say they have a huge sale of 911 on 9/11 they can choose to avoid a repeating digit coming up for that draw. Why would such an option be in there? What other draw changing options are in there?  They got caught !!!  

                    BobP

                    Why would such an option be in there?

                    You need to understand that these "options" are in the source code, not the user interface. It's not like there's an button or checkbox to apply these options whenever the lottery feels like it. The lottery only has access to the compiled executable. Of course, there are ways to manipulate a program's operation even without access to the source code, but it's not exactly something the average Joe can do. I just wanted to point that out.

                    Gonna win.Big Smile

                      AceKicka's avatar - Lottery-057.jpg
                      Triad, N Carolina
                      United States
                      Member #53117
                      June 24, 2007
                      6059 Posts
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                      Posted: October 3, 2007, 6:17 pm - IP Logged

                      The simple truth is they LIED !!!  They said the drawings could not be tampered with. Here is the very proof the draw can be tampered with !!!  The lottery can change the result to avoid a problem draw by selecting U or R.  Let's say they have a huge sale of 911 on 9/11 they can choose to avoid a repeating digit coming up for that draw. Why would such an option be in there? What other draw changing options are in there?  They got caught !!!  

                      BobP

                      I agree with BobP and all the above. I guess they didn't think far enough ahead to come up with an excuse that actually made sense. This is BULL and they know it! This is the problem with virtually anything that's programmed - what's the point of the programmer developing something that's random??

                      Why aren't the multi-million dollar games computer generated?? DON'T EVEN TRY IT!!

                      Legislators, keep up the fight. You must get to the bottom of this SCAM!  And to all the other states  that try to pull the same thing -- BEWARE. We're on your case as well. DO NOT take us for fools!!  We know how to fight back.  We won't put up with being taken advantage of any longer!

                      We spend enough of our hard earned money playing these games.  All we're looking for is a fair chance and a level playing field. Don't you think that the odds are in your favor as it is?? Players, hold tight and don't give in!! WE WILL WIN!!!!!!

                      BOYCOTT!  BOYCOTT!!  BOYCOTT!!! 

                      "Game On.......'CAUSE ACE HAS YOUR NUMBER!!"

                                                                                                -- (AceKicka '07)

                        jarasan's avatar - new patrick.gif
                        Harbinger
                        D.C./MD.
                        United States
                        Member #44103
                        July 30, 2006
                        5583 Posts
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                        Posted: October 3, 2007, 6:49 pm - IP Logged

                        I agree with BobP and all the above. I guess they didn't think far enough ahead to come up with an excuse that actually made sense. This is BULL and they know it! This is the problem with virtually anything that's programmed - what's the point of the programmer developing something that's random??

                        Why aren't the multi-million dollar games computer generated?? DON'T EVEN TRY IT!!

                        Legislators, keep up the fight. You must get to the bottom of this SCAM!  And to all the other states  that try to pull the same thing -- BEWARE. We're on your case as well. DO NOT take us for fools!!  We know how to fight back.  We won't put up with being taken advantage of any longer!

                        We spend enough of our hard earned money playing these games.  All we're looking for is a fair chance and a level playing field. Don't you think that the odds are in your favor as it is?? Players, hold tight and don't give in!! WE WILL WIN!!!!!!

                        BOYCOTT!  BOYCOTT!!  BOYCOTT!!! 

                        I Agree!  Power to the people!

                          Avatar

                          United States
                          Member #10720
                          January 23, 2005
                          933 Posts
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                          Posted: October 3, 2007, 8:21 pm - IP Logged

                          AGAIN, they obviously didn't have ME writing the program for them, then all this could have been avoided!

                          When they get it together over there maybe I'll write a prg. for the new TN games. Maybe.

                          LET ME 'SPLAIN something in case it hasn't been.. in my program if it is doing RNG on a Pick3/4 game, it picks each digit without regard to the previous. But in a JACKPOT type game, since you can't generate a drawing with 2 of the same balls in a normal draw machine, the RNG has to simulate this by "flagging off" used digits. The programmer forgot to put the IF/THEN section or they didn't tell it that Pick3/4 should use "R" (repeat allowed). This reveals that the SAME algorithm is drawing digit and jackpot games, so you could potentially watch digit games to try to predict jackpot games!!!!!!!! It would look something like this in C#:

                          N=R.Next(matrixSize)
                          //where R is a random #.
                          //where matrixSize would be 10 for Pick3/4 or a higher # for Jackpot games.

                          Afterward it uses a boolean array the same size as the matrix and when a number is used its corresponding boolean flag is set. If R's boolean flag is set then it would loop back to the R.Next statement. Except for Pick3/4 games! In Pick3/4 games this array would be ignored but apparently they forgot to put that in!

                          NOTE!: Being the R could be generated from a white noise source, the exact timing of the operator pushing the Draw button in the program interface would ultimately determine the result, i.e. even if you had this entire program you wouldn't be able to determine future drawings but it might give you a very slight advantage (of course this is assuming NORMAL operation; in the case of the TN drawings a clever programmer would have noted that doubles were blocked!)

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                            NASHVILLE, TENN
                            United States
                            Member #33372
                            February 20, 2006
                            1044 Posts
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                            Posted: October 3, 2007, 8:45 pm - IP Logged

                                I certainly don't hold myself out as being a programming expert.  I use only Visual Basic and VBA.  If there is someone out there who is an expert, I have a question that I would like answered.

                                Is there a computer language and uses "u" and "r" as a reserved word?  If there is, I am not aware of its existence.  These letters might be a variable within a compiled language but, if so, they are subject to being manipulated via the keyboard or within the body of the program.

                                If these two letters can be set according to whim, then there is nothing fair about Tennessee's lottory.  I wonder if other states, using the same company, have the same option with these two letters?  If so, then their drawing isn't fair either.