Players are urged to hang onto their tickets and check both sets of numbers
By Kate Northrop
On Thursday, the Maryland Lottery announced that it held two drawings for the Bonus Match 5 on March 18 due to a problem that occurred with the drawing that day.
A press release from the Lottery assures players that it will pay prizes on two separate sets of winnings numbers for the March 18 drawing, which are listed below. The Lottery also emphasized that each set of winning numbers is separate and independent, and that tickets must be compared to each set of winning numbers separately. Numbers from one set of results combined with the other set of results do not constitute a win.
11, 12, 14, 25, 31, and Bonus Ball 3
9, 20, 26, 27, 34, and Bonus Ball 17
"The Maryland Lottery conducts multiple drawings every day, 365 days a year, and for each and every drawing we adhere to a strict set of procedures, including pre- and post-draw tests of the equipment," the Lottery said in a statement to Lottery Post. "But unanticipated problems with drawings can occur, as was the case in the March 18 Bonus Match 5 drawing. As a result, we compensated players by making prize payouts on two sets of numbers."
According to the Lottery, the post-draw procedures revealed a problem with the ball set that was used for the March 18 Bonus Match 5 drawing.
"Because this had the potential to impact the outcome of the drawing, we conducted a second drawing, in accordance with our procedures, providing our players the opportunity to win on either set of numbers," the Lottery told Lottery Post.
Players are urged to check both sets of numbers and to hold on to tickets until they can be cashed.
In the two consecutive days leading up to the drawing on March 16 and March 17, an extraordinary event occurred in which the same set of numbers were drawn for both drawings, except the Bonus Ball. The Bonus Match 5 results for both those days were 8, 20, 26, 31, and 38. The Bonus Ball on March 16 was 12, and the Bonus Ball on March 17 was 2.
The Lottery also reassured that the nearly duplicate numbers had nothing to do with the problem that took place with the drawing on March 18, rather it was purely a matter of random chance. The drawings on March 16 and March 17 took place without any issues.
"While it is quite rare for two consecutive drawings to produce nearly identical outcomes, it is certainly possible because the winning numbers in our drawings are purely the result of random chance," the Lottery told Lottery Post. "Thus, any outcome is possible at any time."
The Lottery declined to comment on the number of winners and winnings awarded for the drawings.
The Maryland Lottery conducts most of its drawings using traditional mechanical ball machines, including Bonus Match 5. Drawings for Bonus Match 5 take place every day at 7:51 pm EST.
While the announcement of a drawing glitch may initially shake a player's confidence, in lottery industry terms it actually strengthens confidence in the state's drawings. Because the Maryland Lottery utilizes traditional ball machine drawings, even minor problems and errors can easily be discovered by attentive staff.
By contrast, states that utilize computerized drawings have had major problems and errors that have gone on for months before they were discovered. Lottery Post has documented numerous major computerized drawing errors over the years.