Arizona Lottery pulls second computerized drawing machine over duplicate numbers

Nov 23, 2017, 12:37 pm (83 comments)

Arizona Lottery

Lottery will TEMPORARILY switch to real ball drawings while new computerized drawing machines are prepared

By Todd Northrop

The Arizona Lottery has taken a second computerized lottery drawing machine out of operation because it repeatedly chose duplicate numbers.

Just last month the Arizona Lottery took its first computerized drawing machine out of service for the same problem.  (See Arizona Lottery computerized drawing machine generated identical winning numbers, Lottery Post, Oct. 6, 2017.)

Arizona Lottery executive director Gregg Edgar said he was not embarrassed about the computerized drawing machine failure.

Now, a month later, the lottery is again offering to replace more customer-purchased lottery tickets over the failure of its other machine.

An announcement made by the lottery Wednesday says winning tickets will still be honored but that refunds or exchanges are being offered for losing tickets for the Pick 3 game played between Nov. 15 and Nov. 21, when the numbers 8-0-4 were chosen three times.

The Arizona Lottery temporarily will be utilizing the Multi-State Lottery Association’s (MUSL) Halogen lottery draw machine for all in-state games. This machine was purchased from SmartPlay by MUSL and the machine uses rubber balls to draw the numbers randomly.

During this temporary period, not only will the numbers be drawn randomly, but because it is a real lottery ball machine, any witness to the drawing can clearly see the numbers being drawn, and thus know for sure that the drawing was untainted by error or malice.  With computerized drawings it is literally impossible for a human to witness the actual drawing taking place, so the potential for error or other issues can never be completely eliminated.

Unfortunately for Arizona Lottery players, the lottery will return to the use of computerized drawing machines on December 11, 2017, using new machines that were purchased from SmartPlay in August. 

To be fair, within the odds structure of the Pick 3 game, numbers can and do duplicate. However, the rapid succession of duplicated numbers is unusual, especially when juxtaposed to the similar computerized drawing failures of a month ago.

Players with non-winning tickets that were purchased from November 15 to November 21, 2017 for the Pick 3 can return their tickets to Arizona Lottery for an exchange or refund. All prizes won for draws in this timeframe will be honored and paid out.

The Arizona Lottery says an independent investigation is being conducted on both machines, and the results of those investigations will be made available to the public.

Players can refund or exchange their tickets by mailing them in, or visiting the following locations:

  • PHOENIX OFFICE | Arizona Lottery Headquarters — 4740 E. University, Phoenix, AZ 85034

    (480) 921-4400 | Monday through Friday 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. | Closed Holidays

  • TUCSON OFFICE | 2900 E. Broadway Blvd, Suite 190, Tucson, AZ 85716

    520.628.5107 | Monday through Friday | 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. | Closed Holidays

  • PHOENIX SKY HARBOR | Terminal 4 Baggage Claim

    (480) 921-4424 | Sun: 11 a.m. - 7 p.m. | M, Th, Fr, Sat: 7 a.m. - 10 p.m. | Tu, We: 7 a.m. - 7 p.m. | Closed Holidays

Arizona Lottery offices are closed for the Thanksgiving holiday, but will be open at 8:00 AM on Friday, November 24.

Lottery Post Staff


music*'s avatarmusic*

 It is now up to the Arizona Lottery players to vote with their dollars. Spend or not spend on computerized drawings. Vote with their dollars on real lottery ball machines. 


Hermanus104's avatarHermanus104

Although the RNG can't be ruled out, these things sometimes happen even when balls are used. 

Virginia, a ball state, drew 805 in the daytime three times in seven days. Texas, another ball state, take their randomness very seriously. They even post their pre-draw results online. Still, I remember Texas drawing 277 three times in four days. I'm pretty sure it was in 2009 or 2010 - back when they were still doing only two drawings per day.

However, I do applaud Arizona for even temporarily going to ball drawings.

sam9009's avatarsam9009

I don't understand.

There's repeats in live ball drawings too.


spartan1707's avatarspartan1707

I Knew it. I complained to them multiple times and they refused to look into it. Last drawing of 804 which was drawn again back on the 10th. They are slowly getting caught at their pick the least drawn numbers for each pick3 game. But the problem is much deeper than this. I pointed out how other states who have 1 drawing a day only pick a number drawn again at less than 15% throughout the yr. Yet Arizona has multiple numbers which are drawn multiple  times through out the yr such as 804-802-319-and doubles as well. Does anyone know how to sue the state which uses MSL as their lottery drawer? There is plenty of evidence directly from them to prove that they are rigging the drawings. This article says Arizona only had 3 drawings of 804 but it is actually 4. There are other numbers as well.


l wonder if Edgar is " embarrassed" this time around? It's no different than buying the same model car twice, having problems with both, but deciding its in your best interest to stick with them. Lotterypost could sent a copy to Arizona news organization on their drive to return to mechanical drawings.l say: Let it hit the fan!

*  Going to follow the contours of the turkey, in 90 minutes.

LiveInGreenBay's avatarLiveInGreenBay

I like RNG computers.  The numbers aren't random.

gregs241's avatargregs241

Whether electronic or mechanical drawings, ALL procedures by the lottery associations need to be open and transparent to the general public.  Thank you.

LiveInGreenBay's avatarLiveInGreenBay

Quote: Originally posted by gregs241 on Nov 23, 2017

Whether electronic or mechanical drawings, ALL procedures by the lottery associations need to be open and transparent to the general public.  Thank you.

Sometime ago I emailed the Wisconsin lottery asking to receive a list of pre-draws for supercash.  They told me I had to file a freedom of information request and it could take a few weeks.  LOL


Quote: Originally posted by LiveInGreenBay on Nov 23, 2017

I like RNG computers.  The numbers aren't random.

Exactly! In my view, finding and exploiting RNG flaws is a great lottery system.

I'd like to see an article on RNG machine hardware along with how RNGs typical function in detail, including specific draw procedures.

One would think with all the scandals and problems, Arizona would go ball draw indefinitely. But it's cheaper and easier to use  RNG. Presumably, AZ Lottery figures most numbers players will continue to play, regardless.

However, if these RNG problems keep happening, there may come a tipping point. It already has happened with Hot Lotto being replaced with Lotto America, which is ball draw.

JoeBigLotto's avatarJoeBigLotto

Left to me I will take all thoes computerised machine and sholve it somewhere I can't type at moment on all thoes managers making decisions . I prefer that to my money back Bash

JADELottery's avatarJADELottery

Yeeaah... called it.


The only take away we get from this is, it appears they are desperately trying to avoid the demon that lurks within computer generated numbers.

We have our own take as to why this happened, however, it's just speculation.

In the meantime, as long as this problem is not seriously addressed, it will happen again.

Like all things these days, it will be handled by alleviating the symptoms.

At this point, word marking are the words of the day.

Everyone should Watch for it and Profit from it.

Good Luck.



And the problem continues...


The Arizona Lottery has taken a second computerized lottery drawing machine out of operation because it repeatedly chose duplicate numbers.

Why hasn't a third grader somebody explained to the Arizona Lottery director the problem is with the program? 


I see this all the time playing around with RNG's.  What baffles me is how the thing ever made

it into service.  I guess they forgot to test it after downloading it off the net.




Just wanted to point out that DEC 7 is "a date which will live in infamy", not DEC 11.

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