Half of all lottery retailers across New Jersey were not been able to issue any tickets from Friday night through Monday as a result of a "technical issue," a state Treasury spokesman confirmed Monday.
The problem was touched off by a scheduled system upgrade Friday, according to an email from Treasury spokesman Chris Santarelli.
The glitch interfered with retailer shops' ability to print out ticket for "draw games," such as the Pick 3, Pick 4 and the Jersey Cash 5, and Cash4Life. "Instant games were not affected," Santarelli said.
Retail terminals were "expected to be up and running early [Monday] afternoon," he said.
Kalpesh Patel, manager of the Welsh Farms Food Stores in Newark, said his system was down all weekend and service was restored about 1:30 p.m. Monday.
"They are all frustrated," he said of his customers, some who returned every half hour to check if the systems were back up. Patel was frustrated, too. He said he wasn't able to get any information from GTECH, part of Northstar New Jersey Lottery Group that runs most of the lottery functions.
The downtime won't help the store's bottom line and the timing only makes it worse, Patel said. "The beginning of the month is when everybody has money and they want to play. That's a problem."
There are 7,200 lottery retailers statewide, Santarelli said.
In 2013, the lottery was New Jersey's fourth-largest source of revenue, generating $2.7 billion in ticket sales a year. The state received $950 million in revenue from the lottery in 2012, financing scholarships and programs for the disabled and military veterans.