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Lottery machines fail before jackpot

South Carolina LotterySouth Carolina Lottery: Lottery machines fail before jackpot

With a $76 million Powerball jackpot waiting Saturday night, some Horry County, South Carolina lottery machines broke down during the weekend.

A stroke of bad luck caused an Internet service provider not to recognize some lottery machines.

Larry Sanders said the machine at his Food Shoppe in the Red Hill section of Conway stopped connecting about 10 or 10:30 p.m. Friday. His store couldn't provide lottery tickets until shortly after 2 p.m. Monday.

The Powerball drawings are at 10:59 p.m. Wednesdays and Saturdays.

John Rieser got to witness several unhappy customers while working the 2 p.m. to midnight shift at the Food Shoppe on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

"It varied between resignation [and] slightly beyond irritated," he said.

"People were not happy campers."

About 65 percent to 75 percent of the customers wanted to play a game were after Powerball tickets, he said.

The machines were reconnected about 2 p.m. Monday, said Tara Robertson, spokeswoman for the S.C. Education Lottery.

Aside from Powerball, some local players lost at least three chances to win $500 in the Pick 3 game and $5,000 in the Pick 4 game at some machines.

Carolina 5, the only other game plugged into the Internet, didn't have a drawing Saturday or Sunday.

State lottery officials are still investigating how many machines were down and how much money wasn't gambled.

Scratch cards were still available, so not all usual sales were lost at the problematic locations, Robertson said.

However, scratch cards won't deliver $76 million.

The problem started with Spirit Telecom, an Internet service provider and telephone company owned by Horry Telephone Cooperative and about 17 other telephone companies that do business in South Carolina.

Locally, the lottery machines are hooked up to Verizon's and HTC's networks, but the problem stemmed from Spirit Telecom.

"We made a mistake," said W.J. Jordan, Spirit's executive vice president for Internet service providers and telephone companies.

The technical details are complicated, but in short, during a project Friday afternoon, Spirit Telecom accidentally made it impossible for its computers to recognize the lottery machines.

The error could have affected 163 lottery machines in Horry County.

However, Jordan said, his company did not receive a deluge of calls. Apparently, he said, most machines never went down.

Sun News

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6 comments. Last comment 13 years ago by CASH Only.
Page 1 of 1

United States
Member #379
June 5, 2002
11296 Posts
Posted: August 10, 2004, 4:29 pm - IP Logged

What a Horry story!

    JAP69's avatar - alas
    South Carolina
    United States
    Member #6
    November 4, 2001
    8803 Posts
    Posted: August 10, 2004, 6:14 pm - IP Logged


    I can not count how many times I have gone into a store in S.C. and been told I can not play because the machines are down.
    Another irritation I have is I do not mark my playslips mid or eve. So when I give the teller the slip I say I want it for mid or I say I want it for eve play. They will go over to the lottery machine and put the card in and they will turn to me and ask do you want this for mid or eve. That really mictuates me off. Time after time they will do that. Idiots.


      Todd's avatar - Cylon 2.gif
      Chief Bottle Washer
      New Jersey
      United States
      Member #1
      May 31, 2000
      23899 Posts
      Posted: August 10, 2004, 6:29 pm - IP Logged
      Quote: O


      Check the State Lottery Report Card
      What grade did your lottery earn?


      Sign the Petition for True Lottery Drawings
      Help eliminate computerized drawings!

        United States
        Member #379
        June 5, 2002
        11296 Posts
        Posted: August 11, 2004, 9:38 am - IP Logged

        Another argument to draw balls?

          whodeani's avatar - lightening

          United States
          Member #2484
          October 9, 2003
          212 Posts
          Posted: August 11, 2004, 11:24 pm - IP Logged

          I am just waiting for the time someone would try to sue a state lottery claiming they would have had the winning numbers for a drawing but couldn't buy tickets because the lottery terminals were down. When I say this I am not talking about some Alicia Battle crackpot either. I am talking about someone who could prove they would have played the winning numbers. Maybe they have been playing the same numbers for weeks and could back that up with recent non-winning tickets with those numbers on the ticket.

            United States
            Member #379
            June 5, 2002
            11296 Posts
            Posted: August 12, 2004, 10:32 am - IP Logged

            I could see such a lawsuit.