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Lottery Terminal, Technical Question

Topic closed. 5 replies. Last post 10 years ago by jarasan.

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justxploring's avatar - villiarna
Wandering Aimlessly
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Posted: September 27, 2006, 1:00 pm - IP Logged

Last night between 7:30 and 8:00 I went into Sweetbay supermarket and asked for 2 tickets.  The cashier pressed some keys and then said "the machine is loading and it will take a few minutes."  I am not sure what that means, so I asked and she said something like "sometimes they send information and it ties up everything, so I can't print out any tickets."

Now this was not just before the store closed, since it's open until 11.  In FL I believe tickets for Fantasy 5, MegaMoney and Lotto can be purchased up until 10 or 10:30.  So why would they be running a program before 8:00?  Anyway, I said I'd wait a few minutes, bought a few groceries, and came back to the counter. She said looked again at the terminal and said "it's still sending information and I don't know how long it will take" so I told her to cancel out whatever she did and joked that I probably just saved $2 dollars anyway.

Any comments?

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    Sunny California
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    Posted: September 27, 2006, 1:43 pm - IP Logged

    When I used to sell tickets on the lottery terminal, occasionally it would shut down for several minutes, sometimes even longer. This happened in the middle of the day, in the afternoon, in the evening, it didn't seem to have any particular time when it would happen, just out of the blue. Also if it was a huge jackpot and I had a line of customers waiting, I think the system used to get overloaded and it would shut down once in awhile in the middle of a rush. Then you always have to wait for it to come back online which can take quite a few minutes also. So this sounds familiar. It's just a like a computer but a slow one at times. Just my experience. 

      justxploring's avatar - villiarna
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      Posted: September 27, 2006, 8:12 pm - IP Logged

      Thanks, Lottolaughs.  I wasn't sure if it was because she was unfamiliar with the operation of the machine or it just shut down.  It didn't make sense to me that information was being processed during the time someone might be buying a ticket, but I've never worked at a place with a lottery terminal so I haven't a clue.  Tonight I got my personal numbers, but had this taken place on a Wed or Sat instead of Tue, I would have driven to another location. I haven't missed a Lotto drawing in 12 years! I know I should just get a season ticket, but it wouldn't be as much "fun!"   LOL

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        Sunny California
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        Posted: September 27, 2006, 9:10 pm - IP Logged

        You're welcome,justxploring! I'm sure the girl knew what she was doing, it's just those darn machines.

          RJOh's avatar - chipmunk
          mid-Ohio
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          Posted: September 27, 2006, 9:11 pm - IP Logged

          With all the digital terminals around constantly being updated, it's hard for any clerk to know everything about them even if they are familiar with them.

          Last night I went to Wal-Mart to use their Kodak printing terminal to print out some digital pictures and the clerk told me he had just got newer terminals in and he was having trouble loading the new software.  I had alway thought their software was hard wired and when any improvement were made the whole units were replaced.

          I recently bought a Kodak P880 digital camera and when I went to Kodak website to register it, I would informed that an updated version of the software in it could be downloaded to the camera but after seeing the trouble that clerk had updating those printing terminals I don't think I'm ever going to try and update the software in my camera.

           * you don't need to buy more tickets, just buy a winning ticket * 
             
                       Evil Looking       

            jarasan's avatar - new patrick.gif
            Harbinger
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            July 30, 2006
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            Posted: September 27, 2006, 10:57 pm - IP Logged

            Last night between 7:30 and 8:00 I went into Sweetbay supermarket and asked for 2 tickets.  The cashier pressed some keys and then said "the machine is loading and it will take a few minutes."  I am not sure what that means, so I asked and she said something like "sometimes they send information and it ties up everything, so I can't print out any tickets."

            Now this was not just before the store closed, since it's open until 11.  In FL I believe tickets for Fantasy 5, MegaMoney and Lotto can be purchased up until 10 or 10:30.  So why would they be running a program before 8:00?  Anyway, I said I'd wait a few minutes, bought a few groceries, and came back to the counter. She said looked again at the terminal and said "it's still sending information and I don't know how long it will take" so I told her to cancel out whatever she did and joked that I probably just saved $2 dollars anyway.

            Any comments?

            justxploring, 

              The lottery machines are on essentially on a large VPN (virtual private network) that is dependent on good broadband connectivity, if there are any network issues, bottlenecks (slowdowns), outages(offline), weather issues(offline), etc. the machines will slowdown or go offline and be unavailable until the network is back and available and they are able to log on. The newer machines like the hopped up ones we got in MD. (they scan tickets like a fax machine) can be updated over the network.  One can see the version of software in the top left-hand corner and it's gone from V1.2 in the beginning  to something like V2.1.6 now. I suspect when they log-on they have a routine that checks for updates and does so if they are available.  I hope this helps. The fact  that it was "doing something" could mean several things. They typically do maintenance stuff after hours. There probably was an outage in that area, in that case try another locale at least several thousand feet away and you'll have a better idea if it was location or area specific.

              One huge bug that these new machines have in Maryland, that I think cannot be fixed over the network, is the fact, that if the machine is out of paper and if a slip is scanned, it will process the transaction and go ahead and think it is printing a ticket but of course there is no paper, so the lottery operator has to eat the tickets that didn't print.  There is no way to re-print the ticket without rescanning and having a new roll of paper installed.  The reason I think it can't be fixed over the network is that the neccessary hardware (sensors) in the machine are missing (not in the original design) to allow the software to know it is out of paper. Any way LOL.

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