Error made 100,000 raffle tickets unable to win
Players of a special New Year's lottery raffle game in Connecticut may be out of luck if they tossed their tickets, after officials disclosed they need to hold a new drawing after 100,000 eligible tickets were mistakenly disregarded Monday.
The Connecticut Lottery said there was a problem with the drawing due to "human error," and a second drawing will be announced later this week. Winning tickets from both drawings will be honored, according to lottery officials.
"Due to human error, 100,000 ticket numbers were not included in this morning's Super Draw drawing," Interim CT Lottery President and CEO Chelsea Turner said in a statement. "Our goal, first and foremost, is to make our players whole. In order to do so, a second drawing will take place shortly that includes the corrected ticket number range."
The New Year's $1,000,000 Super Draw sold 275,000 tickets with unique six-digit codes ranging from 100,001 to 375,000. The lottery said a mistake in the range of the drawing meant some tickets were given no chance of winning prizes that ranged from $100 to $1 million.
The lottery initially temporarily suspended the cashing of tickers from the initial drawing while they arranged an additional one, but later said winning tickets from both drawings would be honored.
The original raffle winning numbers are posted on Lottery Post's Connecticut Lottery Results page. Lottery Post is the only major independent lottery website to publish winning numbers for raffle drawings held across the US every year.
Lydia Monserrate, who said she looks forward to playing the lottery in general to "make a little extra money," thought the game cost too much at $10 a ticket and didn't like that she couldn't pick her own numbers.
"I'm glad I didn't play," she said.
Other lottery players who did play may have lost their chance to win after tossing their tickets after discovering they weren't winners from the first drawing.
"I go to the automatic reader and if it says not a winner, there's a trash receptacle there and I drop it in," Richard Logozzo told the Hartford Courant. He said he tossed his tickets Monday after seeing they weren't winners.
"I think they should run a whole new game and allow us to buy tickets for a whole new game," he told the newspaper.
The Department of Consumer Protection, which oversees gambling in the state, said it's "reviewing the policies and procedures put in place" for the botched drawing.
"Our Gaming Division will be reviewing the policies and procedures put in place for this drawing, and will place heightened scrutiny on procedures for future drawings in order to ensure they are conducted appropriately," Commissioner Michelle H. Seagull said in a statement. "We encourage consumers to hold on to tickets they purchased for today's drawing as winning numbers from two drawings will be honored by the Connecticut Lottery."
Lora Rae Anderson, a spokeswoman for the Department of Consumer Protection, said the failure to include all the tickets in the drawing meant some people who purchased tickets had no chance of winning.
"They take the number of tickets that were [sold], and they enter a range into a random number generator, and they didn't make the range big enough and accidentally did not include 100,000 ticket numbers so those 100,000 tickets had no chance of winning," Anderson said.
The Department of Consumer Protection reviews policies and procedures for every lottery game and will take a closer look at the Super Draw game, she said.
Turner said the Department of Consumer Protection and an outside auditor, Marcum LLC, oversee games to help avoid errors. "However, there is a human element that is not always perfect," she said. "There will be an internal investigation that carefully reviews whether the proper protocols were followed and if not, appropriate action will be taken."
The lottery has been operating without a permanent leader since former president and CEO Anne Noble stepped down during a Department of Consumer Protection investigation into the fraud-plagued 5 Card Cash game, in which lottery retailers were manipulating machines to produce more winning tickets. Several vendors and their employees were arrested as a result of the investigation.
Four finalists are being considered for the CEO position, which pays $177,000 to $283,000 a year. State Senate Republican Leader Len Fasano, a critic of the lottery in the past, said last month that the lottery needs to hire an "innovative individual" with strong "organizational and administrative abilities" to enable the lottery to "dust itself off" and "rebuild the trust" of the public and legislature.
The CT Lottery raises $330 million a year in revenue for the state on $1.2 billion in ticket sales.
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