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Lottery Witness

Topic closed. 17 replies. Last post 9 years ago by Wintariofan.

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benmas's avatar - waveform
Rhode Island
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Posted: March 27, 2008, 5:33 am - IP Logged

Has anybody here ever been a witness to a lottery drawing? (mostly interested in PA) if you were could you please describe what you did...

in PA they have a requirement of 55 and older and i'm not 55 yet but i would like to be a witness if i had the opportunity...(they have different ball sets that they rotate for each game (daily number, big 4) and it is the witness that chooses the set)

..another thing ..how come PB or Mega Millions do not have a drawing witness?...i know that there is an indipendent firm that audits the drawings but i think a live witness would be good too (besides the host)...(they did a drawing in NY city where many people lined up at the windows to see the drawing inside the studio)

now let me give you a hypothetical scenario just to see what you guys think if smth like this is possible to pull off or not (I know that some can say that the host is the witness but i would disqualify him since i want the witnesses to be random people): ...they do a number of pretests/postest drawings to make sure the game is random (and I do beleive 100% that the balls are picked at random from the machine)...but i was just thinking what is to prevent them from taping all the tests and showing one of the test drawings (assuming they pick the one that they see there was no winner or low payouts) as the live one..the sales cutoff a few minutes (5 or 10 mins) before the TV drawings which would be enough time for them to see all the combos sold and pick and televise the tape with the set with lowest payouts...(again the way the balls are picked is completely random but maybe they can interchange the tests for the live one)...i remember a few times the tv drawing was shown late due to them having technical difficulties.....so just a scenario, want to hear your thoughts on this (or maybe you have a better version on how things could be staged)

    Coin Toss's avatar - shape barbed.jpg
    Zeta Reticuli Star System
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    Posted: March 27, 2008, 10:45 am - IP Logged

    There's a member here named Wintariofan that has posted about this, he's in Canada. Maybe he'll see this thread.

    Those who run the lotteries love it when players look for consistency in something that's designed not to have any.

    Lep

    There is one and only one 'proven' system, and that is to book the action. No matter the game, let the players pick their own losers.

      ThatScaryChick's avatar - x1MqPuM
      Idaho
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      Posted: March 27, 2008, 1:41 pm - IP Logged

      in PA they have a requirement of 55 and older and i'm not 55 yet but iwould like to be a witness if i had the opportunity...(they havedifferent ball sets that they rotate for each game (daily number, big4) and it is the witness that chooses the set)

      You have to be 55 or older? Why the set age limit?

      "No one remembers the person who almost climbed the mountain, only the person who eventually gets to the top."

        x1kosmic's avatar - neptune vg2.gif

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        Posted: March 27, 2008, 2:21 pm - IP Logged

        There's also a member here named Guesser....

        He's witnessed a couple of Poweball drawings...

        He says everythings on the up-and-up.

        Good luck

          four4me's avatar - gate1
          MD
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          Posted: March 27, 2008, 3:04 pm - IP Logged

          but i was just thinking what is to prevent them from taping all the tests and showing one of the test drawings (assuming they pick the one that they see there was no winner or low payouts) as the live one..the sales cutoff a few minutes (5 or 10 mins) before the TV drawings which would be enough time for them to see all the combos sold and pick and televise the tape with the set with lowest payouts...(again the way the balls are picked is completely random but maybe they can interchange the tests for the live one)...i remember a few times the tv drawing was shown late due to them having technical difficulties.....so just a scenario, want to hear your thoughts on this (or maybe you have a better version on how things could be staged

          We have older post about the conspiracy theory's of this happening.
          However there are other witnesses like the camera man, the controllers in the studio, the auditors, the surveillance camera. A set director when the man says and now the live drawing at the push of a button it is a live feed which is different from a taped event.

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            Kentucky
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            Posted: March 27, 2008, 5:06 pm - IP Logged

            in PA they have a requirement of 55 and older and i'm not 55 yet but iwould like to be a witness if i had the opportunity...(they havedifferent ball sets that they rotate for each game (daily number, big4) and it is the witness that chooses the set)

            You have to be 55 or older? Why the set age limit?

            Because in PA the lottery profits benefit senior citizens and the lottery rules require a drawing witness.

            The need for a witness began many years ago when a TV announcer rigged a pick-3 drawing so only two of the digits could be drawn from each machine and had people play those combinations. After an audit revealed the winning tickets were sold in only two cities, he was caught after an investigation.


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              Posted: March 27, 2008, 5:58 pm - IP Logged

              Because in PA the lottery profits benefit senior citizens and the lottery rules require a drawing witness.

              The need for a witness began many years ago when a TV announcer rigged a pick-3 drawing so only two of the digits could be drawn from each machine and had people play those combinations. After an audit revealed the winning tickets were sold in only two cities, he was caught after an investigation.

              I vaguely remember this happening.It was back when only a couple of states had lotterys.The tv announcer figured out a way to add weight to some of the balls so they wouldn't be sucked up the tube,if I remember right.Pretty ingenius but obviously not ingenius enough...he got busted!

                benmas's avatar - waveform
                Rhode Island
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                Posted: March 27, 2008, 9:15 pm - IP Logged

                allright i realize the conspiracy theory was just that..i personally dont beleive it anyway i just thought to throw it out there but i saw other posts that were similar...so anyway..for PA i found this information in order to be a witness and also the schedule...its kinda cool that the staff takes you out to dinner at a fancy restaurant...but i dont know why the require you to show up two nights consecutive as a witness (they dont pay for the lodging costs)

                PA lottery witness schedule:

                • Meet members of Pennsylvania Lottery drawing staff at 4 p.m. for dinner.

                • Arrive at WHP Studios no later than 5:30 p.m.

                • Assist in the random selection of machines and ball sets, and observe security tests.

                • Observe pre-drawing tests in rehearsal area.

                • Observe the movement of equipment into main studio area.

                • Observe studio test drawings – then on-camera witness gets practice.

                • Participate in the live drawings at 6:58:50 p.m.

                • Observe post-drawing verification and tests.

                • Secure machines and ball sets for the night.

                • Sign paperwork and go home – usually no later than 7:30 p.m.

                 

                would like to hear from other witnesses and other states rules and witness schedules

                  benmas's avatar - waveform
                  Rhode Island
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                  Posted: March 27, 2008, 9:24 pm - IP Logged

                  from hoosier lotto website FAQs

                  HOw do i witness a Hoosier lottery drawing?

                  All Hoosier Lottery drawings are open to the public.  Drawing witnesses are invited to actually perform the drawing.   Drawings are conducted at Hoosier Lottery Headquarters and Scientific Games in Indianapolis.  Please call Hoosier Lottery Customer Service at 1-800-955-6886 to arrange to view a drawing.

                  Witness to a computerized drawing process...hmmm...is there a good reason into going there and witnessing one...you probably pull a lever...i mean what is there to see?


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                    Posted: March 27, 2008, 9:25 pm - IP Logged

                    allright i realize the conspiracy theory was just that..i personally dont beleive it anyway i just thought to throw it out there but i saw other posts that were similar...so anyway..for PA i found this information in order to be a witness and also the schedule...its kinda cool that the staff takes you out to dinner at a fancy restaurant...but i dont know why the require you to show up two nights consecutive as a witness (they dont pay for the lodging costs)

                    PA lottery witness schedule:

                    • Meet members of Pennsylvania Lottery drawing staff at 4 p.m. for dinner.

                    • Arrive at WHP Studios no later than 5:30 p.m.

                    • Assist in the random selection of machines and ball sets, and observe security tests.

                    • Observe pre-drawing tests in rehearsal area.

                    • Observe the movement of equipment into main studio area.

                    • Observe studio test drawings – then on-camera witness gets practice.

                    • Participate in the live drawings at 6:58:50 p.m.

                    • Observe post-drawing verification and tests.

                    • Secure machines and ball sets for the night.

                    • Sign paperwork and go home – usually no later than 7:30 p.m.

                     

                    would like to hear from other witnesses and other states rules and witness schedules

                    Elderly people are less likely to lash out. Young folk have more energy than they need. Youngsters are proned to act on thought.

                    Not really, but it sounded good...lol


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                      Posted: March 27, 2008, 9:48 pm - IP Logged

                      Because in PA the lottery profits benefit senior citizens and the lottery rules require a drawing witness.

                      The need for a witness began many years ago when a TV announcer rigged a pick-3 drawing so only two of the digits could be drawn from each machine and had people play those combinations. After an audit revealed the winning tickets were sold in only two cities, he was caught after an investigation.

                      Heres a link to Wickpedia that tells about this event from 1980.

                       

                      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1980_Pennsylvania_Lottery_scandal

                        benmas's avatar - waveform
                        Rhode Island
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                        Posted: March 27, 2008, 10:39 pm - IP Logged

                        Heres a link to Wickpedia that tells about this event from 1980.

                         

                        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1980_Pennsylvania_Lottery_scandal

                        thanks mike for the link...wow what a story....their plan looked perfect (a triple is a popular number, they traveled around buying tickets, rigged 2 balls (4,6) to not draw suspicion).... but glad they got caught...that phone call to the drawing studio was a stupid mistake on their part otherwise this could have actually worked


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                          Posted: March 27, 2008, 10:46 pm - IP Logged

                          thanks mike for the link...wow what a story....their plan looked perfect (a triple is a popular number, they traveled around buying tickets, rigged 2 balls (4,6) to not draw suspicion).... but glad they got caught...that phone call to the drawing studio was a stupid mistake on their part otherwise this could have actually worked

                          It's events like this that give lotterys a black eye.On yhe other hand,it also forces the lotterys to be more open.

                            benmas's avatar - waveform
                            Rhode Island
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                            Posted: March 27, 2008, 10:53 pm - IP Logged

                            i do beleive that most lotteries are conducted in a fair manner (the lottery wins anyway because they have a strong house edge)...but events like or similar to that would never go away...there is too much money and too much greed involved..

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                              Kingston, Ontario
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                              Posted: April 1, 2008, 2:05 am - IP Logged

                              There's a member here named Wintariofan that has posted about this, he's in Canada. Maybe he'll see this thread.

                              Thanks Cointoss...I have sat in and been a part of many lottery draws here.   I will repost my experience(s) again to give everyone an idea of what happens.  Sidenote: everything happens legitimately and the draws officials (who can play) even rip up their tickets after its all over.

                              DAY IN THE LIFE OF A LOTTERY DRAW

                              It's 11 AM on a Wednesday morning, lottery draws officials are just arriving for a long day of work at 20 Dundas Street. Many people may think that the officials only work after 6 PM at night...however, throughout the day they are extremely busy. They are responsible for ensuring that every newspaper, TV, and news service have the correct numbers and that everything happens fairly that evening. They spend a lot of their time on the phones answering phone calls from the general public, instilling their and the lottery's integrity. Calls arrive asking "WHY DID THAT NUMBER HAVE SIX 4'S IN IT LAST NIGHT?!?!" .

                              Draws Coordinators are also arranging and preparing for game changes that come from promotions and marketing, they prepare for bonus draws, labeling and logging video tapes from the previous nights draws. They are responsible for making sure all the policies and procedures are being followed. If something fails or incorrect information gets out, it's on THEIR shoulders. Another daily routine is making sure that the plastic seals (the seals that most lotteries use to ensure no one has tampered with the ball cases) are prepared, labeled, recorded, and ready for use that evening or for the week.

                              By 8PM, the officials arrives at the draw site...usually a TV studio or in some places a secure room with video surveillance and many locks. It's at this point that most of the preliminary set-up is done. Here in Ontario that means opening the safe where the sealed cases of balls are stored. They remove two cases of balls. The equiptment is powered up and the results from the previous days draws are tripled check. In Ontario two draws technicians/co-ordinators and one public observer (an officier of trust) are needed. When the Officer of Trust arrives it usually entails about ten good minutes of conversation of how the wife and kids are doing--checking the previous days results--and waiting for draw terminals to shut down across Ontario.

                              As "draw shut down time" approaches, they wait anxiously for the call from the Central Computer people. A coin is tossed and one of the sealed cases is chosen. Before the seals are opened, they are checked to make sure no one has switched or broken them or in short--tampered with the cases. The inspection records may also be checked to see when the last time the balls were tested. They also have to sign the records every time the sealed cases are opened or closed. The set of balls is opened and placed carefully in the rack of the machine. Some states require gloves be used when handling the balls. Here, in Ontario, the balls are from a company called Ryo-Catteau and made of solid india rubber. No gloves needed. The number itself is apart of the ball--it's embedded into the ball. Each ball costs about $300 and each machine a mere $90,000.

                              Once the clock strikes 9PM magic happens. On the wall hangs a huge strobe light. It reminds me of the Pentagon--like waiting for the President to call and say fire the rockets. The strobe light flashes erratically. That cue tells the draws officials that every lottery terminal across Ontario is closed and no other tickets can be sold for that days/weeks games. The official makes a phone call to the computer centre where they confirm out-right that every terminal from Ottawa to Thunder Bay to Windsor are indeed closed. Within that phone call, sales information is exchanged. This is how much money was spent on each part of the game, how many people said yes to Encore ( the tag game for Ontario), how much money did Ontario 49 generate, How many people said yes to Encore on Pick 3, how much money was taken in for pick 3. ..etc

                              Once they hang up, the sales information is written down and posted on the front of the draws machine for each game. Wednesday night is a hectic night. Not only do they have about six draws to do, they also have another big draw waiting for them in the studio next door--Lotto 6-49.

                              The video recording starts alsmost immediately, the machine turned on and each draw conducted. Following the draw(s) the TRUST OFFICER and draws officials compare notes. This is to make absolute certainty that each have written clearly the correct winning numbers. THEY HAVE TO BE COMPLETELY ACCURATE--as the next step is faxing the results to the central computer, contacting 680 News, faxing the Toronto Sun, Toronto Star, and TV stations. After the Ontario draws are done, the TRUST OFFICER and officials place the balls back into the case. New security seals are put on the case and they are locked back up in the safe for tomorrow night.

                              In the meantime, the draws co-ordinators leave the one stuidio and go to another. This is all done at CFTO-TV, just a little north Toronto. That's where the National Lotto 6-49 and Lotto Super 7 games happen. Most of the same procedures take place, except there is an auditor and the draws are conducted through the Inter-Provincial Lottery Corporation. The officials could be out in 30 minutes or there for 10 hours.

                              No joke. One night, when Super 7 was over $35 Million, it took a good five hours for sales information to be confirmed.  No draw ever can take place if there is a chance that one terminal is still open or if there is lack of sales information. BC Lottery could not confirm that every terminal was shut down. Nobody was allowed to leave the studio and the drawing got started after 2:30 AM.

                              Once it's confirmed, again sales are recorded for each province. To give you an idea, overall sales are usually between $20-30 million dollars. When the jackpot is huge those sales are from $50-70 million. The draw happens without a hitch. After the draw, the ILC requires that the remaining balls (42 of them) are taken from the machine and put back into their case. The winning balls (7 of them) are left in ball drop rack. This ensures two things...a) that the empty spaces in the case do indeed belong to those in the ball drop rack. And b) that no other balls or extra numbers fell into the ball drop. The balls can now be safely put away.

                              The same procedures take place...inspection records signed, the balls are sealed, and the machine and sealed ball case is rolled away; locked into a secure room.

                              The only thing left to this long day is a TV host arrives in the studio and stands in front of the lottery set. There is no machine or balls as they've been put away. A video tape of what happened five minutes ago is rolled in and they announce it as if it was happening LIVE. It's fun to watch. One week the host was on vacation. A back-up host came in. It took them several takes to get the audio and video correct. The host would be announcing the numbers before they came out of the machine. They would say first number out is 6,,,and out would come the 6. They had to stop recording and tell her to wait for the ball to fall from the machine before you announce it. "It looks completely rigged when you do it like that.", a guy from ILC said. Obviously they did a few takes and found a good take in the end.

                              All in all, a draws co-ordinator/official is not an easy job, but I would take the job in a snap. You have to be passionate, on your toes, enjoy long work days, deal with the public and be accurate all at the same time. If you ever get the chance, go out to a lottery drawing, please do. You will be impressed. I am every time.


                              *Derek: Wintariofan has attended several Ontario lottery draws and follows Ryo-Catteau, OLG/ILC games, game changes, and the good work that lotteries provide for Ontario. 
                                 

                              "Together We're Making Good Things Happen,  Ontario's Lotteries...WE ALL WIN"