Keno players cash in on lottery glitch in Delaware

Dec 24, 2015, 9:21 am (11 comments)

Delaware Lottery

WILMINGTON, Del. — The luck has run out for some lottery winners in Delaware after state officials realized that a glitch meant the exact same winning numbers were drawn for six Keno games.

Sam Patel, owner of the Convenient Store in Wilmington, Delaware, says last week's glitch with the Keno Lottery game had business booming. He didn't realize something was wrong until a customer hit it big.

"She was screaming again, 'Oh my God, oh my God. The same numbers are coming out again. Well, at that point she got my attention," Patel says.

When the player realized the machine was selecting the same number over and over for each game, word spread like wild fire and the other customers started buying up tickets.

To play Keno, you pick 10 numbers ranging from 1 through 80, bet $1 to $20, and you can win anywhere from $1 to $1 million. Unlike traditional daily games like Pick 3 or Pick 4, Keno drawings are held in Delaware every four minutes.

"Everybody was happy, wishing everybody Merry Christmas. Definitely it was a glitch; obviously, the same numbers don't come out," store owner Patel said.

Because of the fast-paced nature of the game, the lottery requires the use of computerized drawings to generate the winning numbers. But it is a reminder that no matter how good computers can be programmed to generate random numbers, it is all the other problems with computers that has made them so unreliable and prone to hacking.

Some in the lottery industry have championed cost-savings as a hallmark of computerized drawings, but with glitches like the Keno drawings exposing the lottery to substantial financial risk, as well as the swell of distrust being caused by recent hacking allegations, one has to ask what the cost has really been for those states using computerized drawings.

Lottery workers eventually caught on and shut down the game.

Patel was able to pay out some customers, but had to direct others to the nearest claim center.

The people we talked to say winning ticket holders should be able to get the cash.

"I don't think they should have to return it. Because I mean, if they're a faithful Keno player they probably lost a lot of money. So that was just their lucky day," Marjorie Shuford said.

Delaware lottery officials posted a statement on its website, explain that the game "had a malfunction in the drawings of the Keno game. The Delaware Lottery is working with its supplier... on a review and investigation of these drawings."

Lottery workers wouldn't confirm how much money was won, if the winners will be paid, or how long the investigation will take.

A spokesperson for the Delaware Lottery says players who were able to cash out before the glitch was discovered can keep the money. The other winners will have to wait until the investigation is over to see if they will be able to cash in.

For now, players can still play the Keno game. A backup machine is being used to generate numbers.

WPVI, Lottery Post Staff

Comments

travelintrucker's avatartravelintrucker

Another reason why RNGs suck!

DELotteryPlyr

WOW! Could you imagine that, you are watching the numbers come out and realize its the SAME numbers as the last game!!!!! Then you go and PLAY those numbers and they come out AGAIN!!!! I would have been FREAKING out while waiting for the next game after I figured it out.  AND THEN if you tried it ONE more time and HIT again!!! 

ALL winners should be paid, lets see what DE lottery does. 

DELotteryPlyr

Does anyone know the date which this happened?

RJOh's avatarRJOh

I would have thought the program would check itself and send out a warning when ever the numbers repeated in the following drawings.

atoz

They should of played a 10 spot and they would be hitting 10 out of 10 pick for some big bucks.... it would serve the lottery right with their RNG that they seem so proud of.

Stack47

Lottery workers wouldn't confirm how much money was won, if the winners will be paid, or how long the investigation will take.

If someone played a $20 10-spot the last four drawings, they have at least $4 million worth of tickets. The stores could cashed prizes under $600 so those players are already paid. Even though it's an obvious glitch and because multiple smaller prizes were paid, the lottery might have to honor all the winning tickets.

noise-gate

Quote: Originally posted by travelintrucker on Dec 24, 2015

Another reason why RNGs suck!

l bet that is exactly what Mr Patel was saying under his breath while paying out the winners. Big Smile

sully16's avatarsully16

Gotta love it when the computers favor the player.

Stack47

Quote: Originally posted by RJOh on Dec 24, 2015

I would have thought the program would check itself and send out a warning when ever the numbers repeated in the following drawings.

After all the Tipton stuff, any lottery using an RNG probably has it locked up in a vault and nobody could fix the broken record. Whatever happened with Hot Lotto still only effected very few players and considering there was only one winning ticket, it really only effected the next prize winner.

Keno RNGs are set on timers and the results are recorded by the RNG too so it depends on how often a human checks the drawings.

CSense's avatarCSense

Quote: Originally posted by sully16 on Dec 25, 2015

Gotta love it when the computers favor the player.

It's definitely karma after that other story about some lottery people rigged the game to win money.Yes NodSun Smiley

DELotteryPlyr

Quote: Originally posted by sully16 on Dec 25, 2015

Gotta love it when the computers favor the player.

I Agree!

End of comments
Subscribe to this news story