Lottery tickets will not be sold in South Carolina for more than 12 hours this weekend

May 10, 2018, 11:02 am (8 comments)

South Carolina Lottery

COLUMBIA, S.C. — You're out of luck if you planned on buying Powerball or Pick 3 tickets in South Carolina on Mother's Day morning.

Stores will stop selling tickets for computerized lottery games — including Mega Millions and Palmetto Cash 5 — at 11:45 p.m. Saturday as the state switches to a new contractor's computer system. 

Exactly when stores will start selling again is unclear, but it will be sometime Sunday afternoon, more than 12 hours after going dark, state lottery Director Hogan Brown said. The lottery agency's website will post information on when the games are available again at gas stations, grocery stores and other retailers.

The timing of the shutdown was chosen because that's when lottery sales are slowest, Brown said.   

In other lottery news, state legislators have floated a proposal that would allow players to buy tickets with debit cards. Also, state lottery officials still haven't decided whether to pay up to $33.8 million for winning tickets caused by a Christmas Day glitch.

Nearly 4,000 machines statewide will go offline minutes before the multi-state Powerball drawing at 11:59 p.m. Saturday. Many sellers are closed then anyway. 

It's the first time in a decade the state has switched to a new computer provider. Intralot, the Greek company contracted since 2008, lost to London-based IGT for the next 10-year contract, worth about $78 million.

The transition began last summer, but "we had to hit the pause button" while Intralot protested not getting picked again, Brown said.

The state Procurement Review Panel, which hears contract complaints, dismissed the protest in February.

Most retailers have been wired for both companies' systems for the last few weeks, as IGT terminals were tested. A few hundred that couldn't accommodate both will need special attention, Brown said.

"We are all prepared for the weekend. The team here in South Carolina is fully staffed," and dozens more are arriving for the transition, said Richard Wheeler, a regional vice president for IGT. "We feel really confident about this."     

Meanwhile, an investigation continues into what state officials call a Christmas Day glitch that mistakenly printed 42,000 winning tickets. 

Tickets for Holiday Cash Add-A-Play — which plays like tic-tac-toe — contained Christmas trees on all nine squares, instead of the maximum five that are supposed to be printed, Brown said earlier this year. 

Intralot — which not only owned the technology and equipment but also was responsible for monitoring the system — shut down the game after two hours and informed state officials.

By then, $1.7 million had already been paid out by retailers. Up to $33.8 million more could be owed to other players who won because of the mishap, Hogan said in February. 

Lottery commissioners are waiting on the investigation's results to decide whether to pay out those tickets. A report should be completed soon, said Tim Madden, an attorney hired by the agency.

In the Statehouse, legislators may give lottery players another way to pay for tickets.

A proposal in the House's budget plan would allow buying with debit cards, not just cash. Credit cards, checks or any other form of payment would still be banned. The change is not included in the Senate's budget, but lawmakers will hash out the differences during the next few weeks.

Brown said Wednesday no one at the lottery agency sought the change. Commissioners have discussed the possibility, and how to handle card fees, but they made no decision. 

"We don't have a position," he said. "We'll do whatever legislators ask."

Post and Courier



Thank you SC for switching to IGT...yes, it means a lot to shareholders like myself.

CDanaT's avatarCDanaT

Not my circus, not my monkey...Best of luck with the new provider

bobby623's avatarbobby623

Pardon me for being 'picky' but SC doesn't have any 'computerized' lottery games!
According to LP's Lottery State Report Card, all SC draw games are by mechanical ball machines.


The article was based on switching from Intralot to IGT.  It has nothing whatsoever to do with drawings.  Think of the machines that print up the tickets; they are computerized.  They not only hook up to South Carolina lotteries, but also MM & PB and any other nationwide drawings they may participate in.  I suppose one could surmise that when you purchase Quick Picks they are basically RNG--the computer picks the numbers for you.  Unlike RNG, the computer hooked up to the printer has no idea what the winning numbers will be.  Isn't it true that most big lottery winners are just that--Quick Picks?


We just had a computer 'update' here in MD.  It took all week, it caused terminals to not work intermittently during the week but that was it.  Hope SC has no issues.

grwurston's avatargrwurston

SC Lottery  Behind the Draws.

Theox-'s avatarTheox-

New machines are up and running. No issues at the store closest to my house but someone in line behind me said that he'd been to 4 other store with machines that were down.


The system is still is down for multi draw. I play every 2 weeks and never have missed a Cash 5 drawing until this weekend. I wish you would have at least kept the old system running until you could fix all the bugs out of this new system. I work 2 full time jobs which is why I pay 2 weeks in advance. its easier for me to handle. SO, please get this fixed.

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