The South Carolina lottery will set aside $19.6 million to cover potential claims while it continues to investigate a Christmas Day glitch that affected Holiday Cash Add-A-Play tickets.
The S.C. Education Lottery Commission met behind closed doors Friday and decided to set aside the money for potential payouts while continuing to investigate a programming glitch that produced erroneous tickets on Christmas Day.
The S.C. Education Lottery's computer system vendor, Intralot, experienced a programming error on Christmas Day that affected Holiday Cash Add-A-Play tickets, a $1 terminal-generated instant game, officials said.
From 5:51 to 7:53 p.m. Monday, the same play symbol was repeated in all nine available play areas on tickets, which would result in a top prize of $500, lottery officials said. No more than five identical play symbols should appear for a single play.
With a top prize of $500, if the lottery commission pays out all $19.6 million, that would mean 39,200 winning tickets would have been issued.
As soon as the issue was identified, the Add-A-Play game was suspended immediately, and an investigation began.
The reported glitch upset dozens potential winners, including several who visited the lottery offices in Columbia on Monday.
"I was banking on (this money)," said Bridget Castrillon, 26, of Orangeburg. "I could pay my bills at the end of the year."