A cut phone line has silenced thousands of telephones in South Dakota. The problems started at 10th and Dakota, in downtown Sioux Falls. Tuesday a worker accidentally cut a main line, knocking out service to 9,700 homes and businesses.
The impact of the Qwest cut extends beyond city limits and beyond phone calls. A lot of convenience stores rely on their phone lines to connect them to the South Dakota Lottery. So, a cut quest line put ten Sioux Falls Powerball machines out of service. It also affected machines in Tea, Parker, and Harrisburg.
Laurie Winter's Powerball problems started at 4 am, when she came in to do the books. The Food & Fuel worker tried to print out a report. Instead the lottery computer didn't even know the date.
Since the machine wasn't connected to state lottery, Winter had to tell customers they couldn't buy a 128-million dollar ticket in Harrisburg. Those who bought scratch off tickets were at a loss too.
"It's also for validating the scratch tickets that people purchase daily, so we're crippled without this machine," says Winters.
But just after 11 am the computer screen changed. "Oh we got it on. Oh my God. It's on it's on it's on," says Winters.
And, Laurie Winter's job instantly got a lot easier. "Now we're ready to sell lottery tickets. Yeah! That was great! Thank you guys for coming in."
State lottery officials say by 2 o'clock every machine but one was back on line. In addition to the thirteen businesses affected by the Qwest line, officials say another down line affected more than a dozen additional businesses in Sioux Falls and in Plankinton. Those machines were all back up and running around ten.