In South Africa, a Durban woman has asked Lotto operator Gidani to investigate its scanning machines after her winning ticket was declared invalid.
Wanda Bromehead, said she had checked the newspaper and knew she had won R88 in the May 16 draw.
But she was surprised when the teller behind the counter ran her ticket through the scanner and the screen displayed the words "No Winner".
The teller was asked to scan the ticket three more times, and the message was the same.
Doubting herself, she left the store. Bromehead returned to the store a few days later and a different teller scanned the ticket again and it declared her a non-winner — yet again.
After three more unsuccessful tries, Bromehead was becoming frustrated.
"I then asked her to punch the winning numbers in, and the scanner showed that I was a winner of R88," she said.
Not convinced, Bromehead decided to take up the cudgels with the National Lotteries operator Gidani. Even though it was only R88, she questioned how many other people had experienced the same problem.
"There are so many people who rely on the machine to tell them whether any of their numbers are winning combinations or not, and don't question what the machine tells them," she said.
She therefore brought this problem to the attention of Gidani via email, where a clearly agitated Bromehead enquired: "A faulty scanner? Is this why Lotto is sitting with so many billions, because people have been told by faulty scanners: 'No Winner'?"
After a series of calls to the Durban Gidani office, Bromehead received an email saying "in this technological age errors do occur".
"But I don't buy that, I requested Gidani Durban to have the manager telephone me, but have heard nothing yet."
Bromehead was then contacted by an official of Gidani and told that her ticket needed to be picked up from the store and sent to Gidani's technology department for testing.
Thembi Tulwana, spokesperson for Gidani, said there might be various reasons why Bromehead's ticket could not be read by the scanner, and this was why it needed to be sent for an investigation.
"It is not an indication that the operator has problems with the scanner. It is an isolated case," she said.
Tulwana said it was possible that the scanner was unable to read the bar code because of dust or dirt on either the ticket or the scanner.
"Gidani ensures that the terminals are checked on a regular basis by our agents for optimum functionality," she maintained.
On why Bromehead's ticket needed to be "investigated", Tulwana said it was important for the ticket be presented to their investigation office for "thorough inspection by a trained Lotto investigator".
Tulwana said there was "no correlation between Bromehead's concern and the unclaimed prize monies".
"Players should be reminded that it is their responsibility to check their tickets against the winning numbers on TV, the National Lotteries website and in newspapers after every draw.
"They can even call our toll-free helpline 0800-777-777," she said.
Technological error? Wanda Bromehead has asked Lotto operator Gidani to investigate its scanning machines after her winning ticket was declared invalid.