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Suspended CT lottery game had too many winners

Connecticut LotteryConnecticut Lottery: Suspended CT lottery game had too many winners
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The Connecticut Lottery and state Department of Consumer Protection shut down the 5 Card Cash game after noticing there were more winners than the game's parameters should have allowed, and determining that some lottery agents were manipulating machines to print more winning tickets and fewer losers.

The investigation is ongoing, Consumer Protection Commissioner Jonathan Harris said Friday afternoon, but lottery retailers found to have cheated could face criminal charges.

"Loss of license is just the beginning," Harris said. "They could go to jail for this."

The Connecticut Lottery and its contractor are working on a software update to eliminate the problem. Sales of the popular lottery game could resume next week. People who hold winning 5 Card Cash tickets cannot cash in their tickets until the game resumes. Harris said lottery and consumer protection employees will work through the weekend to get the game back online as soon as possible.

"This is an isolated incident with a specific game and it's important that it was detected and that we are determining the causes and fixing the game," Harris said. "The integrity of the lottery is of prime importance."

Just how some lottery agents were able to manipulate their machines is not clear, but investigators believe there was a vulnerability between the time a ticket was ordered at a terminal and when it was printed.

"They were able to slow down the machine and pull up a history," Harris said. "Slowing down the machine meant that somehow there was a delay in the time a ticket was generated to when it was printed."

During that delay, some agents were able to determine whether the ticket waiting to print was a winner or a loser, he said. They would void the losing ticket, but allow the winning ticket to print, he said.

Harris said he does not think those who manipulated the system were sophisticated hackers, but rather people who were able to figure out how the lottery terminals work.

As for how many agents and terminals were involved, "That's the part we still don't know," Harris said. It's also not clear how much money was lost, Harris said.

If there is any good news in this problem, Harris said, it's that people who purchased tickets were not hurt.

Lora Rae Anderson, a spokeswoman for the Department of Consumer Protection, said the fact there were more winners than there should have been raised a flag.

The 5 Card Cash game features two ways for players to win. There's an instant component and then a daily televised drawing. For the instant game, a five-card playing card hand is printed on each ticket. If the hand matches one of 10 winning combinations, the ticket is a winner.

The Connecticut Lottery and the state Department of Consumer Protection were alerted to the possibility of problems involving 5 Card Cash a year ago. A lottery retailer in Weston was accused of holding back winning tickets and selling losing tickets to unsuspecting customers. State authorities were alerted and suspended the retailer's license to sell lottery tickets. The license was later restored.

"We encourage consumers to actually take a look and make sure their ticket is coming out of the terminal," Anderson said.

Through a spokesperson, Anne Noble, Connecticut Lottery president and CEO, refused to respond to questions about the game and the suspension.

Hartford Courant

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9 comments. Last comment 1 year ago by realtorjim.
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Raven62's avatar - binary
New Jersey
United States
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June 28, 2005
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Posted: November 13, 2015, 10:26 pm - IP Logged

Temptation meets the weakness of Human Nature and the lack of Self-Control...

A mind once stretched by a new idea never returns to its original dimensions!

    noise-gate's avatar - images q=tbn:ANd9GcR91HDs4UJhjxO7cmeMQWZ5lB_FOcMLOGicau4V74R45tDgPWrr
    Bay Area - California
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    Posted: November 13, 2015, 10:56 pm - IP Logged

    Heaven forbid that there should be more winners than losers....Bang Head

    People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it- George Bernard Shaw.

      savagegoose's avatar - ProfilePho
      adelaide sa
      Australia
      Member #37136
      April 11, 2006
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      Posted: November 13, 2015, 11:18 pm - IP Logged

      so it took a year after being made aware there was a problem?  and the retailers are the crims? if you design and let loose a system that can be rigged, people will rig it.  if you leave it for a whole year once aware there is a p[roblem ,, you actually authorise it, its your  freaking system. this is like playing poker with marked cards and telling the players,  " i know theyre markjed , but dont read em "

      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

        Coin Toss's avatar - shape barbed.jpg
        Zeta Reticuli Star System
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        Posted: November 14, 2015, 12:39 am - IP Logged

        Oh no, does anyone think jjtheprince may be right? It'd too easy to win?

        Suspended CT lottery game had too many winners
        Scared

        Those who run the lotteries love it when players look for consistency in something that's designed not to have any.

        Lep

        There is one and only one 'proven' system, and that is to book the action. No matter the game, let the players pick their own losers.


          United States
          Member #106134
          February 13, 2011
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          Posted: November 14, 2015, 8:19 am - IP Logged

          Oh no, does anyone think jjtheprince may be right? It'd too easy to win?

          Suspended CT lottery game had too many winners
          Scared

          I know I'm right.  These games have way too many winners because they are way too easy to win.  Not too easy for you and I, but too easy for winners.  We need HARD lotteries.  I'm glad CT shut this one down for being too easy.

          Really, games need matrixes that have numbers made up of hundreds of trillions of digits in order to be hard enough.  Even then it would still be way too easy for someone out there.


            United States
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            February 13, 2011
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            Posted: November 14, 2015, 9:00 am - IP Logged

            This was tl/dr earlier, but I see cheats were involved.  It's getting to the point where I don't believe ANYONE wins any lottery game fair and square.  They are even figuring out how to run cheat codes on scratch off tickets.  I'm about ready to quit these rigged games.

              rcbbuckeye's avatar - Lottery-043.jpg
              Texas
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              Member #55889
              October 23, 2007
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              Posted: November 14, 2015, 9:27 am - IP Logged

              This was tl/dr earlier, but I see cheats were involved.  It's getting to the point where I don't believe ANYONE wins any lottery game fair and square.  They are even figuring out how to run cheat codes on scratch off tickets.  I'm about ready to quit these rigged games.

              Ok.

              Bye.

              CAN'T WIN IF YOU'RE NOT IN

              A DOLLAR AND A DREAM (OR $2)

                BFW577's avatar - scene sunoverlake.jpg
                CT
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                September 4, 2014
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                Posted: November 14, 2015, 3:53 pm - IP Logged

                This is what i think is the real scam with this game.

                I noticed a few months ago these tickets started having a bold text warning on the top about verifying the time your ticket was printed.

                You can get an instant win with this game when its printed for matching a set number of cards. I believe lotto clerks were printing lets say 5 tickets knowing that the odds are there will be an instant win and them putting the winners aside for themselves and handing the non instant win losers to unsuspecting customers when they purchased a ticket.

                So lets say some elderly lady orders a 5 card cash. Shes not paying attention or doesnt notice that the machine didn't print a ticket and the clerk hands her a losing ticket.

                The amount of clerks here in CT that try and scam you is unreal. I don't hand over any money until I inspect my tickets.

                  realtorjim's avatar - images q=tbn:ANd9GcT7U3t20NgScoPlxOqLT6TR0vQeJNBV3_tTswe1XeFDTsdw3NLZ

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                  Posted: November 14, 2015, 4:05 pm - IP Logged

                  Ok.

                  Bye.

                  Two short, simple, but eloquently stated sentences.  Very Hemingway 'ish.

                    I'm feeling a jackpot win coming my way!