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The Grueling Truth - Where Legends Speak / Iowa Lottery’s Powerball error sparks emotional rollercoaster for players

Iowa Lottery’s Powerball error sparks emotional rollercoaster for players

Publish Date: 12/02/2023
Fact checked by: Mike Goodpaster
Video: Iowa Lottery explains 'human error' that caused wrong numbers in Powerball drawing

Iowa Lottery explains ‘human error’ that caused wrong numbers in Powerball drawing

Iowa Lottery has sent many players into an emotional rollercoaster due to a recent Powerball winners’ announcement mistake. A “human reporting error” has caused the wrong winning numbers to be displayed for seven hours, leaving some believing they had won.

The Iowa Lottery posted inaccurate numbers on its website at approximately 12:30 am on Tuesday, taking until 3:30 pm to rectify the error. Individuals who cashed in during this period were allowed to keep their winnings, while others experienced the fleeting thrill of a false victory.

Lottery staff identified the mistake just after 7 am, nearly seven hours after the incorrect numbers had been displayed, prompting an immediate suspension of results. Correcting the error required updates to all lottery terminals and self-serve kiosks, leaving some winners unaware of their actual status for an extended period.

Failure in state reporting system

Although the national Powerball drawing was accurate, the state reporting system failed, leading to the unfortunate situation where initial winners were later declared losers.

“We at the Iowa Lottery sincerely apologize for the interruption,” they said in their statement. “Lottery staffers will continue to review drawing procedures with an eye toward improvements in the future.”

Monday’s Powerball drawing produced the accurate winning numbers 2-21-38-61-66 and Powerball 12, with a Power Play number of 2. The lottery disclosed that the initially erroneous numbers could have led to prizes ranging from approximately $4 to $200.

A similar occurrence has happened in the past. In 2018, the South Carolina Education Lottery Commission erred in a Holiday Cash Add-A-Play game, prompting the suspension of the game and the issuance of refunds to affected players.

Another similar situation occurred in 2017 when the Massachusetts State Lottery had to halt sales of the “Cash WinFall” game due to MIT students exploiting a loophole, resulting in million-dollar wins.

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