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COMPUTERIZED DRAWING GLITCH STRIKES ARIZONA LOTTERY

Arizona LotteryArizona Lottery: COMPUTERIZED DRAWING GLITCH STRIKES ARIZONA LOTTERY
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This is why computer­ized drawings are bad

Undiscovered problem existed for 2 months — some tickets had no chance of winning

The lottery had no idea until players started complaining

By Todd Northrop

TUCSON, Ariz. — Due to an error in the computerized drawing system for the Arizona Lottery Pick 3 game between June 10 and Aug. 3, replacement tickets are being offered to eligible people who purchased tickets during that time frame, according to a press release.

Pick 3 is an Arizona Lottery draw game in which players pick three numbers and can win a prize up to $500. Tickets cost $1 each and drawings are held every day, Monday through Saturday.

On Aug. 5, the Arizona Lottery discovered there was an issue in the Pick 3 programming code that prevented the numbers eight and nine from being drawn in certain positions between June 10 and Aug. 3. This error resulted in 92.3 percent of tickets purchased having a better chance to win, and caused 7.7 percent to have no chance of winning.

From a trust perspective, perhaps the most frightening part is that because the lottery cannot actually see the drawings taking place — like they can with traditional ball machines — nobody at the lottery had a clue that there was a problem for nearly two months.  It was only when lottery players started complaining that the lottery had an inkling that a problem existed.

"Can you imagine our concern when a Pick 3 player just casually mentioned to us they weren't seeing as many nines lately on the game, I mean that's a red flag," said Jeff Hatch-Miller with the Arizona Lottery.

Computerized drawings occur inside a computer, which is supposed to generate random numbers.  But because a computer program cannot be "watched" like a traditional lottery ball drawing, the computer operator simply trusts that the computer is functioning perfectly, and that the drawing numbers that suddenly appeared on the computer screen were generated randomly.

With a traditional ball machine, it is simple for any layman to see when a problem occurs, because they can watch the drawing and see that in fact the right number of balls are in the drum.

A problem with ball drawings happens rarely — once in a long while.  But it does not happen undiscovered for months at a time.

In the case of this latest computerized drawing problem, the Arizona Lottery is offering replacement tickets for any Pick 3 ticket purchased during that time period using the number eight and nine on all of the Pick 3 play types listed in the chart below.  (Click the chart to open in full-size.)

As soon as the error was suspected, the Arizona Lottery immediately assembled an investigative team to research the issue.

"Once the error was identified, it was immediately corrected," said Jeff Hatch-Miller, Director of the Arizona Lottery. "The Arizona Lottery assures our players that the issue has been remedied, and the Pick 3 drawings will continue to move forward with the utmost integrity."

Beginning Monday, Aug. 19, 2013, the Arizona Lottery will be offering eligible players three options to receive replacement tickets equal to the sales price of the affected tickets purchased. If numbers were selected by the player, the replacement tickets will reflect the same numbers. If the tickets were a Quick Pick, then the newly issued tickets will be Quick Pick, but replacements will have different numbers than the originals.

Unfortunately, the lottery will only provide replacement tickets for those players who kept the original tickets purchase.  For many people who commonly discard losing lottery tickets, there is no remedy for the tickets they purchased with no chance of winning.

Option 1: In Person

Players must bring their affected tickets to the Arizona Lottery offices in Phoenix or Tucson prior to Sept. 30. Replacement tickets equal to the sales price of the affected tickets purchased will be issued. Tickets must be relinquished upon replacement.

Phoenix Office:
4740 E. University Drive
Phoenix AZ 85034
480-921-4400

Tucson Office:
4010 E. Grant Road
Tucson, AZ 85712
520-628-5107

Option 2: In-State Mail

Players must mail affected tickets to the Arizona Lottery (Phoenix office only) to receive replacement tickets equal to the sales price of the affected tickets purchased. Tickets will be printed and mailed via U.S. Postal Service prior to the draw, but received after the draw. Check the winning numbers for the draw date printed on the tickets.

Mail to:
Attn: Ticket Replacement, Arizona Lottery
P.O. Box 2913
Phoenix, AZ 85062-2913

Option 3: Out-of-State Mail

Out-of-state players must mail affected tickets to receive a letter offering replacement tickets. The original letter with the embossed Lottery seal must be presented in person to the Arizona Lottery offices by close of business on December 31, 2013.

Mail to:
Attn: Ticket Replacement, Arizona Lottery
P.O. Box 2913
Phoenix, AZ 85062-2913

News story photo(Click to display full-size in gallery)

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202 comments. Last comment 3 years ago by jamella724.
Page 1 of 14
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United States
Member #128373
May 22, 2012
201 Posts
Offline
Posted: August 20, 2013, 9:45 pm - IP Logged

Yipe.

The lottery is NOT a tax on the poor.  By calling it a tax, you are calling it mandatory, which is what taxes are.  But the lottery is NOT mandatory, therefore calling it a tax highly inaccurate.

    JAP69's avatar - alas
    South Carolina
    United States
    Member #6
    November 4, 2001
    8790 Posts
    Offline
    Posted: August 20, 2013, 9:47 pm - IP Logged

    This is why computer­ized drawings are bad

    Undiscovered problem existed for 2 months — some tickets had no chance of winning

    The lottery had no idea until players started complaining

    By Todd Northrop

    Due to an error in the computerized drawing system for the Arizona Lottery Pick 3 game between June 10 and Aug. 3, replacement tickets are being offered to eligible people who purchased tickets during that time frame, according to a press release.

    Pick 3 is an Arizona Lottery draw game in which players pick three numbers and can win a prize up to $500. Tickets cost $1 each and drawings are held every day, Monday through Saturday.

    On Aug. 5, the Arizona Lottery discovered there was an issue in the Pick 3 programming code that prevented the numbers eight and nine from being drawn in certain positions between June 10 and Aug. 3. This error resulted in 92.3 percent of tickets purchased having a better chance to win, and caused 7.7 percent to have no chance of winning.

    From a trust perspective, perhaps the most frightening part is that because the lottery cannot actually see the drawings taking place — like they can with traditional ball machines — nobody at the lottery had a clue that there was a problem for nearly two months.  It was only when lottery players started complaining that the lottery had an inkling that a problem existed.

    "Can you imagine our concern when a Pick 3 player just casually mentioned to us they weren't seeing as many nines lately on the game, I mean that's a red flag," said Jeff Hatch-Miller with the Arizona Lottery.

    Computerized drawings occur inside a computer, which is supposed to generate random numbers.  But because a computer program cannot be "watched" like a traditional lottery ball drawing, the computer operator simply trusts that the computer is functioning perfectly, and that the drawing numbers that suddenly appeared on the computer screen were generated randomly.

    With a traditional ball machine, it is simple for any layman to see when a problem occurs, because they can watch the drawing and see that in fact the right number of balls are in the drum.

    A problem with ball drawings happens rarely — once in a long while.  But it does not happen undiscovered for months at a time.

    In the case of this latest computerized drawing problem, the Arizona Lottery is offering replacement tickets for any Pick 3 ticket purchased during that time period using the number eight and nine on all of the Pick 3 play types listed in the chart below.  (Click the chart to open in full-size.)

    As soon as the error was suspected, the Arizona Lottery immediately assembled an investigative team to research the issue.

    "Once the error was identified, it was immediately corrected," said Jeff Hatch-Miller, Director of the Arizona Lottery. "The Arizona Lottery assures our players that the issue has been remedied, and the Pick 3 drawings will continue to move forward with the utmost integrity."

    Beginning Monday, Aug. 19, 2013, the Arizona Lottery will be offering eligible players three options to receive replacement tickets equal to the sales price of the affected tickets purchased. If numbers were selected by the player, the replacement tickets will reflect the same numbers. If the tickets were a Quick Pick, then the newly issued tickets will be Quick Pick, but replacements will have different numbers than the originals.

    Unfortunately, the lottery will only provide replacement tickets for those players who kept the original tickets purchase.  For many people who commonly discard losing lottery tickets, there is no remedy for the tickets they purchased with no chance of winning.

    Option 1: In Person

    Players must bring their affected tickets to the Arizona Lottery offices in Phoenix or Tucson prior to Sept. 30. Replacement tickets equal to the sales price of the affected tickets purchased will be issued. Tickets must be relinquished upon replacement.

    Phoenix Office:
    4740 E. University Drive
    Phoenix AZ 85034
    480-921-4400

    Tucson Office:
    4010 E. Grant Road
    Tucson, AZ 85712
    520-628-5107

    Option 2: In-State Mail

    Players must mail affected tickets to the Arizona Lottery (Phoenix office only) to receive replacement tickets equal to the sales price of the affected tickets purchased. Tickets will be printed and mailed via U.S. Postal Service prior to the draw, but received after the draw. Check the winning numbers for the draw date printed on the tickets.

    Mail to:
    Attn: Ticket Replacement, Arizona Lottery
    P.O. Box 2913
    Phoenix, AZ 85062-2913

    Option 3: Out-of-State Mail

    Out-of-state players must mail affected tickets to receive a letter offering replacement tickets. The original letter with the embossed Lottery seal must be presented in person to the Arizona Lottery offices by close of business on December 31, 2013.

    Mail to:
    Attn: Ticket Replacement, Arizona Lottery
    P.O. Box 2913
    Phoenix, AZ 85062-2913

    News story photo(Click to display full-size in gallery)

    " drawings will continue to move forward with the utmost integrity."

    ___________________________________

    Green laughGreen laughROFL

    WHATT

      Igamble's avatar - spider
      nj
      United States
      Member #145657
      August 10, 2013
      974 Posts
      Online
      Posted: August 20, 2013, 9:47 pm - IP Logged

      something to meditate about :"Pick 3 programming code that prevented the numbers eight and nine from being drawn in certain positions"  so i get from this is that there is definetly a mathematical algorythm behind this.absolutly nothing is random in the computer drawings  !maybe code is something like- IF 8 is drawn 5 times with 6 then draw 7 5 times with 5 and so on...

        grwurston's avatar - Cute animals_Spider.jpg
        Winning makes me smile.
        bel air maryland
        United States
        Member #90251
        April 24, 2010
        4862 Posts
        Offline
        Posted: August 20, 2013, 10:02 pm - IP Logged

        They only looked into it when lottery players complained... So how come they couldn't tell something was wrong?

        Worse yet, in how many other states is the same thing happening, because the players have not complained?

        Worse still, in how many states has this happened and the players complained, but the lottery officials didn't or wouldn't

        listen to them?  Something to think about...

        "You can observe a lot just by watching." Yogi Berra, Hall of Fame baseball player.

        The numbers will tell you what numbers to play. Pay attention to the numbers.

        Don't just think outside the box, crush it.

          duckman's avatar - ducklogodrake64x64
          Jacksonville Florida
          United States
          Member #23018
          October 6, 2005
          915 Posts
          Online
          Posted: August 20, 2013, 10:08 pm - IP Logged

          If they must use computerized drawings, I would think they would do a series of test drawings immediately prior to each actual drawing. This would be quick and easy with a computer, just have it do 10,000 draws and print out a statistical analysis of numbers drawn percentages, positions/numbers percentages, combination percentages, etc. The more pre-draw trials the better as the more draws the more equal all number sets should be...


            United States
            Member #145203
            July 30, 2013
            2157 Posts
            Offline
            Posted: August 20, 2013, 10:14 pm - IP Logged

            something to meditate about :"Pick 3 programming code that prevented the numbers eight and nine from being drawn in certain positions"  so i get from this is that there is definetly a mathematical algorythm behind this.absolutly nothing is random in the computer drawings  !maybe code is something like- IF 8 is drawn 5 times with 6 then draw 7 5 times with 5 and so on...

            I hope they don't mess up my PA Mid day computer drawing...my bread and butter.

            Sweet as honey.

              mypiemaster's avatar - 2015021003pileofcash
              JACKPOT HUNTER

              United States
              Member #141034
              April 2, 2013
              1408 Posts
              Offline
              Posted: August 20, 2013, 10:19 pm - IP Logged

              Are we supposed to take their word for it?. It will happen again.

              Seek and ye shall find -Matt. 7:7 ...Ask and ye shall receive -John 16:24 ...Give and it shall be given unto you -Luke 6:38 ...Be careful what you ask for!!! -Mypiemaster 1:1

              Having Money Solves Problems That Not Having Money Creates Yes Nod ****John Carlton****


                United States
                Member #141260
                April 9, 2013
                1390 Posts
                Offline
                Posted: August 20, 2013, 10:46 pm - IP Logged

                Why didnt anyone from LP take advantage of the mistake

                Instead of a 10x10x10 for a straight.. it wouldve been
                10x 9X 9 for a straight.  810 numbers for a $900 online win... all day everyday

                  rdgrnr's avatar - walt
                  Way back up in them dadgum hills, son!
                  United States
                  Member #73904
                  April 28, 2009
                  14903 Posts
                  Offline
                  Posted: August 20, 2013, 10:49 pm - IP Logged

                  "The Arizona Lottery assures our players that the issue has been remedied, and the Pick 3 drawings will continue to move forward with the utmost integrity."

                  That's absolute nonsense.

                  How can you assure anybody of anything when you don't even know when your fake computer drawing is malfunctioning?

                  What the bloody hell is so wrong with real ball drawings?

                  Is it just too hard to program wins for your buddies that way or what?

                  Your silly excuse that it's too expensive is bullsh*t and you know it.

                  You're a bunch of thieving crooks just like everybody else in government.

                    RJOh's avatar - chipmunk
                    mid-Ohio
                    United States
                    Member #9
                    March 24, 2001
                    19824 Posts
                    Offline
                    Posted: August 20, 2013, 10:51 pm - IP Logged

                    I guess you can't believe lotteries when they say they constantly check and test their equipment to make sure their drawings are fair.  Sounds like they wait until someone complains and then check.

                     * you don't need to buy more tickets, just buy a winning ticket * 
                       
                                 Evil Looking       

                      Avatar
                      Miramar, Fl
                      United States
                      Member #86216
                      January 31, 2010
                      80 Posts
                      Offline
                      Posted: August 20, 2013, 10:56 pm - IP Logged

                      I noticed it to a while back I thought I was going crazy myself. I do play online and I was looking at all of the past patterns.

                      In Arizona the keys are usually the 1st and 3rd positions only never in the 2nd. I thought this was odd.

                      Laundry is the only thing that should be seperated by color

                        rdgrnr's avatar - walt
                        Way back up in them dadgum hills, son!
                        United States
                        Member #73904
                        April 28, 2009
                        14903 Posts
                        Offline
                        Posted: August 20, 2013, 11:01 pm - IP Logged

                        I guess you can't believe lotteries when they say they constantly check and test their equipment to make sure their drawings are fair.  Sounds like they wait until someone complains and then check.

                        That's right RJOh, they're our state lotteries but they're about as responsive to us as anybody else in government is, which is not at all.

                        The players want real ball drawings and they simply refuse because we'd be able to see what's going on too easy.

                        And they're all just political hacks with plush, cushy jobs who got their positions because of who they know and they couldn't care less what we think.

                          luckyshoes's avatar - butterfly neg.jpg
                          Pennsylvania
                          United States
                          Member #79502
                          September 2, 2009
                          6395 Posts
                          Offline
                          Posted: August 20, 2013, 11:04 pm - IP Logged

                          Utmost integrity?.......LOL yeah, and maybe things will start to fall ....UP !

                            Avatar

                            United States
                            Member #132100
                            August 26, 2012
                            1076 Posts
                            Offline
                            Posted: August 20, 2013, 11:19 pm - IP Logged

                            Utmost integrity?.......LOL yeah, and maybe things will start to fall ....UP !

                            People are mistaken when they think that "Random" means that anything can happen.

                            Maybe that is why they don't notice some problems.

                            Even with so called "random" there are some limits.

                            Perhaps even the so called "Math Experts" don't understand random statistics any better than "Joe Blow", it is for sure that the state lottery people are not  "Lottery Experts", remember the "No Doubles" pick 3 thing on Tennessee?