Minnesota Lottery says tech issue caused delay in Powerball drawing
The Minnesota Lottery stated Thursday that the record-breaking delay in this week’s $2. 04 billion Powerball jackpot drawing. Someone who purchased a ticket in Southern California had all the winning numbers and became the first Powerball jackpot winner in three months.
But Monday night’s multi-state drawing was delayed by nearly 10 hours — until Tuesday morning — while lottery officials addressed the problem.
The Minnesota Lottery announced Thursday that it was experiencing problems with its two-tiered verification process, which is managed by outside vendors. The lottery stated that the system was designed to ensure that all lottery tickets purchased have a fair chance of winning.
The Minnesota Lottery stated that one vendor prints tickets and records each transaction to verify authenticity. Another vendor checks the work of the first vendor. The Minnesota Lottery stated that before a drawing can take place, both systems must “balance”. This means that all data must be transmitted between them and match perfectly.
On Monday night, the two systems couldn’t communicate in real time so there was a delay in getting them to balance, the Minnesota Lottery said. Officials spent hours trying to resolve the problem, but then realized that the entire day’s sales data needed to be reprocessed. This took an additional 5 1/2 hours.
” While we were disappointed to delay our national drawing, the integrity of our games always takes priority,” the Minnesota Lottery stated in a statement. It added: “At no point was the sales data compromised or the game compromised. “
The Minnesota Lottery offered its apologies, but said that any error in the drawing would have been more serious than the actual delay. “
The $2. 04 billion jackpot was by far the largest lottery prize ever won, topping the previous record $1. 586 billion prize won by three Powerball ticketholders in 2016. Only four previous jackpots have topped $1 billion, but none of those are close to the current prize, which started at $20 million back on Aug. 6 and has grown over three winless months. Since Aug. 6, no one has won the jackpot. 3.
The $2. 04 billion prize is for a winner who chooses an annuity, paid annually over 29 years. Nearly all winners opt for cash, which was valued at $997.6 million.
The jackpot ticket was sold at Joe’s Service Center in Altadena, an unincorporated community in the foothills northeast of Los Angeles. Joe Chahayed, a business owner, will receive a maximum Powerball bonus amount of $1 million for selling the winning ticket.
The odds of winning the jackpot are 1 in 292.2 million. The game is played in 45 states, as well as Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.