Christmas Miracle or A Glitch?
Thursday December 20, 2018 04:16 am
The Lottery Lab Staff
Christmas is just around the corner which means people from South Carolina must be getting excited about the lottery game called Holiday Cash Add-A-Play. This game has a pretty simple rule: get three Christmas tree symbols in any vertical, horizontal or diagonal line and win a prize!
Last Christmas, this game made a lot of people from the Palmetto State happy. A player named Nicole Coggins shared her experience, “I don’t play the lottery that much, every once in a while, I buy a Powerball ticket just to test my luck, but on Christmas, something told me to buy a lottery ticket and I paid an extra dollar to add a play.”
Luckily the ticket was a winner and she was so excited. She bought another ticket to test her luck and won again. Then she got another winner and another one. She thought “this can’t be real” “and there must be something wrong with the machine”. As the word got out about the sudden proliferation of winning tickets, more people gathered to buy tickets. Chaos ensued. People flooded the lottery retail stores and gas stations to purchase tickets and celebrate their lucky day. But the Christmas miracle was too good to be true!
The South Carolina Education Lottery says that there was a programming error in the computer system. According to them, the vendor is to blame for so many winning tickets. The lottery released a statement two days after Christmas saying, “From 5:51 p.m. to 7:53 p.m., the same play symbol was repeated in all nine available play areas on tickets which would result in a top prize of $500. No more than five identical play symbols should appear for a single play. As soon as the issue was identified, the Add-A-Play game was suspended immediately to conduct a thorough investigation.”
When the spokesperson for the state’s lottery was asked if there is any precedent for this sort of problem in the state’s lottery, she replied, “Not to my knowledge.”
The state suspended sales and refused to pay to the alleged winners. But there were some losing tickets too. People furiously asked how could there be losing tickets if there was a glitch? This episode left people empty-handed and frustrated with the state lottery. Most people agreed that neither the players nor the stores did anything wrong. Instead, it was the state lottery’s fault and they should pay for the winning tickets.
Unfortunately, people couldn’t do anything because the state lottery has the power to suspend sales and refuse winnings in such circumstances.
To familiarize yourself to the basic rules and regulations about different lotteries, visit the lottery lab website. It can help you protect your prizes and dodge scams as well.