Arizona Lottery officials are investigating what they described on their website as “technical difficulties” surrounding one of their random number generators used to pick the winning numbers for many of the state’s lottery games. As it turns out, the machine generated the same winning numbers in multiple drawings for three different games.
State officials haven’t offered an explanation, but they said they would offer refunds to gamblers (if they didn’t discard their tickets) or would exchange their tickets for new ones. The lottery’s computerized picking system generated duplicate numbers for the game All or Nothing on September 28 and September 30, and on September 29 and October 3.
Other affected games include Pick 3, which saw duplicate winning numbers on September 29 and October 3. The same thing happened with the game 5 Card Cash on the same dates. However, bettors can breathe a sigh of relief. If you picked the winning numbers, your tickets will be honored.
O’Shea said that on September 29, the numbers chosen by one of the three random number generators used for Fantasy 5 were 1-4-8-12-28. That same winning combination was picked again on October 3 by the same generator (the next time this particular generator was employed). The malfunctioning machine used in the three games has been taken out of service pending an investigation.
“The integrity of our games is paramount to (the) Arizona Lottery. We have incredible players at Arizona Lottery and we appreciate their patience and support,” spokeswoman Nikki O’Shea told the Arizona Republic. O’Shea did not return numerous messages from Ars seeking a deeper explanation. The state uses three random number generators, and they are not connected to the Internet or a network.
This isn’t the first time that a random number generator used by Arizona has malfunctioned. The last time it happened was in 2013, when faulty coding blocked the random number generator from picking the numbers 8 and 9. The problem persisted for three months before state officials announced refunds.
State-run lotteries across the US have been hit with one scandal after the other recently. The latest fallout happened just days ago when a Colorado lottery winner sued the state lottery in a bid to recoup the full $4.8 million Colorado Lottery jackpot he hit in 2005. Two of the winners he split the jackpot with were part of a lottery-rigging scam, so lottery player Amir Massihzadeh wants the full prize. Colorado has refused to pay the full amount so far despite the June convictions of two brothers connected to a multi-state lottery fraud ring.