Preventing Lottery Errors and Mistakes

The regulation surrounding lotteries to ensure there aren't mistakes
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Preventing Lottery Errors and Mistakes
  • Author:
    William Monroe
  • Published:

With the gaming industry being so heavily regulated, lottery operators not only have to make sure lottery draws are conducted in the most honest ways possible, but also with the highest degree of integrity and transparency, to ensure public trust in performing lottery draws and payouts. They take great efforts in every aspect of the draw, from the design of the draw to the awarding of prizes, to ensure that everything runs smoothly and correctly and no issues arise in any aspect of a draw.

Audits and Regulations

Draw audits are conducted on a regular basis that check over the video and audio recordings of each draw, the verification of the machines and balls/computer before and after the draw, live recording of the draw by an independent accounting firm, and several other very redundant checks and rechecks that are purposefully implemented to spot any irregularities.

Even though these practices do prevent the majority of errors or mistakes from occurring, very rarely the occasional one may occur either through human error or through a technological “hiccup.” For instance, in the printing of scratch tickets, some prizes may not be included in the print batch resulting in those prizes not being able to be won by players. This puts the whole gaming batch into a situation in which promised prizes are not included, and players are short-changed in their chance to win thoses prizes. This type of error would normally only be discovered during an internal audit of tickets and prizing won vs prizing still available.

In another instance, if a lottery draw is closed at retailers earlier than the scheduled date or time, the system will automatically assume any further ticket purchases are for the next draw date. This type of error now affects two separate lottery draws in which tickets purchased after the incorrect closure time and up to the correct time for the new draw, are not eligible for either draw, and causing both draws and all tickets to be declared null and void and the tickets having to be reprinted or honoured for a future draw.

Human Error

One human-error mistake that can cause headaches for everyone is the creation and testing of new content for the operator’s website. Many times mock winning numbers are used in the design or redesign of the web pages. This is standard procedure for image placement, font and graphic size, background and foreground colours, and other aspects of the look of the page. If the site is accidentally put live during this process, visitors to the page who may be looking for the winning numbers might assume the mock numbers are the winning ones. Some may take a screen shot or save the page as “proof” when the go to claim their prizes. Obviously, their tickets will register as non-winners and everything from swearing to threats of lawsuits will be heard at retailers and the lottery offices.

Mistakes and errors regarding lotteries are usually caught before they actually happen. If any do get through, the problem is taken care of immediately, corrections or compensation is instituted, and an extensive investigation ensures to find out what happened, how it happened, and ways to prevent it from happening in the future. This implies a caution to anyone who feels they’ve won the jackpot or large prize. You are not an official winner and entitled to the prize until it is verified and confirmed at a retailer or lottery redemption office.

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