Welcome Guest
Log In | Register )
You last visited December 4, 2016, 3:15 pm
All times shown are
Eastern Time (GMT-5:00)

Virginia winners may have to pay for Lottery's mistake

Virginia LotteryVirginia Lottery: Virginia winners may have to pay for Lottery's mistake
41
Rating:

Sometimes lotto luck lies underneath the surface of a scratch-off ticket. Sometimes it lies in the bounce of a ball. And sometimes it lies with the Virginia attorney general's office.

Hundreds of players thought they had struck gold when lottery terminals errantly spit out tickets that appeared to have won them as much as $7,777. Turns out it was a computer programming error, not lady luck.

Now the state's top lawyers will consult with the Virginia Lottery to decide whether the players get the cash or if the proviso on every ticket — "Tickets are void if . . . misprinted . . . or do not meet the state Lottery validation tests" — means that players are out of luck.

Lottery officials are not quite sure what happened during Sunday's debut of the $2 Fast Play Super 7's game, where players flex some basic math muscles to try to add up a preprinted grid of numbers into as many sevens as they can. The more sevens they get, the more money they win. There is little skill involved, but if players get lucky, they can win as much as $7,777.

Before the game was shut down at 8:55 a.m. Sunday, more than 600 tickets were printed incorrectly of the 2,336 total sold, Virginia Lottery spokesman John Hagerty said. When players crunched the numbers on the tickets, Hagerty said, they came out with more sevens than the lottery had intended — and more than were encoded in the bar code at the bottom of the ticket, which shop owners who sell tickets use to verify winnings.

The game was stopped after less than four hours of play because confused vendors had started calling. Officials said they do not know when the game will be available again. They are blaming the problems on a contractor, GTECH, which was running the game for the state. Last month, Lottery Technology Enterprises, a partnership including GTECH that runs the D.C. lottery, was fined $1.4 million by the District for security breaches that included fraudulent payouts and stolen tickets.

GTECH, based in Providence, R.I., referred inquiries about the Super 7's glitch to the Virginia Lottery yesterday.

"It seemed like a really easy concept, a fun kind of way to play," said Sterling Hartman, an employee of Cohn's On the Corner, a convenience store in Charlottesville, which sells lottery tickets. "People could get their math skills in line."

But Hartman was not sure that the game would be popular among his regular customers, a mix of college students and locals.

"Most of the people who come in tend to be fairly stuck in their ways," he said. "If they're a Mega Millions person, they don't like to venture into Pick 4 territory. If they're a Pick 4 person, they don't like to do Pick 3."

Hartman said that many of the "hard-core players" — the ones who pass on the instant gratification of the scratch-off games — like to use a gambler's strategy when they buy tickets, picking numbers based on the last set of winning ones, or even timing a lottery purchase based on the serial numbers of the blank tickets. Those players might not be interested in Super 7's, he said.

"They can't gauge their wins or losses based on the track record," he said. "They don't go into a casino, but they have to think like a gambler anyway."

Whether the holders of the approximately 600 questionable tickets are awarded any money remains to be seen. The state lottery will decide the matter in consultation with the attorney general's office, which, as luck would have it, does not comment on internal legal advice, a spokesman said yesterday. Lottery spokesman Hagerty said he was unsure when a decision would be made and asked that players hold on to their tickets for now.

With luck, they will soon have an answer.

Washington Post

We'd love to see your comments here!  Register for a FREE membership — it takes just a few moments — and you'll be able to post comments here and on any of our forums. If you're already a member, you can Log In to post a comment.

6 comments. Last comment 8 years ago by jump1900.
Page 1 of 1

United States
Member #58528
February 18, 2008
710 Posts
Offline
Posted: October 21, 2008, 12:38 pm - IP Logged

Sometimes lotto luck lies underneath the surface of a scratch-off ticket. Sometimes it lies in the bounce of a ball. And sometimes it lies with the Virginia attorney general's office.

Hundreds of players thought they had struck gold when lottery terminals errantly spit out tickets that appeared to have won them as much as $7,777. Turns out it was a computer programming error, not lady luck.

Now the state's top lawyers will consult with the Virginia Lottery to decide whether the players get the cash or if the proviso on every ticket — "Tickets are void if . . . misprinted . . . or do not meet the state Lottery validation tests" — means that players are out of luck.

Lottery officials are not quite sure what happened during Sunday's debut of the $2 Fast Play Super 7's game, where players flex some basic math muscles to try to add up a preprinted grid of numbers into as many sevens as they can. The more sevens they get, the more money they win. There is little skill involved, but if players get lucky, they can win as much as $7,777.

Before the game was shut down at 8:55 a.m. Sunday, more than 600 tickets were printed incorrectly of the 2,336 total sold, Virginia Lottery spokesman John Hagerty said. When players crunched the numbers on the tickets, Hagerty said, they came out with more sevens than the lottery had intended — and more than were encoded in the bar code at the bottom of the ticket, which shop owners who sell tickets use to verify winnings.

The game was stopped after less than four hours of play because confused vendors had started calling. Officials said they do not know when the game will be available again. They are blaming the problems on a contractor, GTECH, which was running the game for the state. Last month, Lottery Technology Enterprises, a partnership including GTECH that runs the D.C. lottery, was fined $1.4 million by the District for security breaches that included fraudulent payouts and stolen tickets.

GTECH, based in Providence, R.I., referred inquiries about the Super 7's glitch to the Virginia Lottery yesterday.

"It seemed like a really easy concept, a fun kind of way to play," said Sterling Hartman, an employee of Cohn's On the Corner, a convenience store in Charlottesville, which sells lottery tickets. "People could get their math skills in line."

But Hartman was not sure that the game would be popular among his regular customers, a mix of college students and locals.

"Most of the people who come in tend to be fairly stuck in their ways," he said. "If they're a Mega Millions person, they don't like to venture into Pick 4 territory. If they're a Pick 4 person, they don't like to do Pick 3."

Hartman said that many of the "hard-core players" — the ones who pass on the instant gratification of the scratch-off games — like to use a gambler's strategy when they buy tickets, picking numbers based on the last set of winning ones, or even timing a lottery purchase based on the serial numbers of the blank tickets. Those players might not be interested in Super 7's, he said.

"They can't gauge their wins or losses based on the track record," he said. "They don't go into a casino, but they have to think like a gambler anyway."

Whether the holders of the approximately 600 questionable tickets are awarded any money remains to be seen. The state lottery will decide the matter in consultation with the attorney general's office, which, as luck would have it, does not comment on internal legal advice, a spokesman said yesterday. Lottery spokesman Hagerty said he was unsure when a decision would be made and asked that players hold on to their tickets for now.

With luck, they will soon have an answer.

The state should pay those that had a winning ticket,refund the price of a ticket to those that had a losing ticket and send the bill to GTECH because the errors were GTECH's fault.

    spy153's avatar - maren

    United States
    Member #28409
    December 15, 2005
    1198 Posts
    Offline
    Posted: October 21, 2008, 12:52 pm - IP Logged

    The state should pay those that had a winning ticket,refund the price of a ticket to those that had a losing ticket and send the bill to GTECH because the errors were GTECH's fault.

    I agree completely!  Computer errors are human errors somewhere down the line.  The players shouldn't be the ones disappointed.

    voir-vous dans mes reves!Cool

      ThatScaryChick's avatar - x1MqPuM
      Idaho
      United States
      Member #56506
      November 21, 2007
      6537 Posts
      Offline
      Posted: October 21, 2008, 4:14 pm - IP Logged

      The state should pay those that had a winning ticket,refund the price of a ticket to those that had a losing ticket and send the bill to GTECH because the errors were GTECH's fault.

      I Agree! Well said.

      "No one remembers the person who almost climbed the mountain, only the person who eventually gets to the top."

        savagegoose's avatar - ProfilePho
        adelaide sa
        Australia
        Member #37136
        April 11, 2006
        3300 Posts
        Offline
        Posted: October 21, 2008, 9:17 pm - IP Logged

        but what if g tech go bankrupt?

         

        then its up to the tax payer to bail out g tech and pay the people with winning tickets

        2014 = -1016; 2015= -1409; 2016 JAN = -106; FEB= -81; MAR= -131; APR= - 87: MAY= -91; JUN= -39; JUL=-134; AUG= -124; SEP = -123; OCT= -84  NOV=- 73 TOT= -3498

        keno historic = -2291 ; 2015= -603; 2016= JAN=-32, FEB= +12 , MAR= -86, APR = -77. MAY= -48, JUN= -29, JUL=-71; AUG = -52; SEPT= -43; OCT = +56 NOV = -33 TOT= -3297


          United States
          Member #58528
          February 18, 2008
          710 Posts
          Offline
          Posted: October 21, 2008, 10:13 pm - IP Logged

          but what if g tech go bankrupt?

           

          then its up to the tax payer to bail out g tech and pay the people with winning tickets

          I seriously doubt if GTECH will be going bankrupt anytime soon.They are one of the major players in computerized lotterys in the world.

            jump1900's avatar - Lottery-028.jpg
            North Carolina
            United States
            Member #48155
            December 12, 2006
            3271 Posts
            Offline
            Posted: October 22, 2008, 8:21 am - IP Logged

            Statement From The Virginia Lottery About Fast Play Super 7s

            October 20, 2008

            The Virginia Lottery sincerely apologizes for the error with its new game Fast Play Super 7’s.

            Unfortunately, there was a technical problem when the software was loaded on the computer gaming system. The problem caused misprinted tickets. Thanks to the Lottery’s retail partners, the error was caught by 9:00 a.m. Sunday, October 19 and the Lottery stopped selling the game immediately. The Lottery sold 2,336 tickets before sales were suspended. Of those, 609 printed incorrectly. The misprinted tickets may lead players to believe they have won a bigger prize than they actually won.

            The Lottery continues to gather all of the facts surrounding this situation, and we ask that all players be patient. Players should keep their tickets or fill out a claim form at a Lottery office. We are in contact with our gaming partner, GTECH, who made the error. The Lottery is also speaking with the Attorney General’s office to determine if it is appropriate to pay the expected prizes, even though every ticket specifically states “Tickets are void if…. misprinted… or do not meet the state Lottery validation tests.”

            The Lottery is extremely disappointed about this error and is working diligently to determine the proper solution for our loyal players and retailers.