What Really Happened in That Minnesota Powerball Drawing Delay?

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  • Author:
    Shaun Greer
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See what really happened to cause the Minnesota Powerball delay that impacted the drawing and had Powerball players concerned.

You buy your Powerball tickets, selecting just the right combination of numbers, and go home to wait patiently for the drawing. Anticipation builds as you tune into your local news station to see which digits are drawn. But what do you do if you sit there, with tickets in hand, enthusiastically waiting, only to find out the Powerball drawing is going to be delayed?

Fortunately, it’s not a regular occurrence. However, one Minnesota Powerball drawing did experience a drawing delay. And this is what really happened.

The 10-Hour Delay in Minnesota

Last November, Powerball players in Minnesota experienced a 10-hour delay before the numbers were officially drawn. According to Marie Hinton, a Minnesota Lottery spokesperson, an “unprecedented lottery interest” ended up causing a significant delay in processing. The sales verification system experienced technical difficulties. And as a result, it prompted the delay of the nationwide Powerball drawing, typically held on Monday evenings.

What Caused the Sales Processing Malfunction

Hinton didn’t offer any additional details officially. She did, however, reassure Powerball players that at no time was the drawing compromised. And the ensuing delay, which ended up lasting for 10 hours, was necessary to confirm the Powerball drawing would be secure and accurate.

The former director for the Iowa Lottery, Terry Rich, who additionally served on the Powerball board, did offer insights to the Associated Press. Rich suggested the delay was likely the result of a problem with the system’s two-party verification process. This step involves an outside vendor and ensures all sales and gameplay data are in order before the Powerball game numbers are drawn.

Every State Has a Verification Process

According to Rich, every Powerball participating state is required to verify all sales and dollar amounts before the Multi-State Lottery Association can move forward with the drawing. While typically effective, this two-step verification process ensures that every retail sale and dollars collected at the state level is accounted for prior to the drawing. Every state does it. And Rich says separating the process by state is usually very reliable.

This Isn’t the Only Instance of a Powerball Delay

This Minnesota example isn’t the first time there’s been a state-level glitch that resulted in a Powerball drawing delay. In fact, Terry Rich said similar problems present a few times every year. But this particular delay ended up making news because the jackpot for this Powerball drawing was so massive – a record-setting $2 billion.

The Show Goes On

While a 10-hour delay in waiting for the Powerball drawing is annoying, it didn’t derail the drawing altogether. The Powerball numbers were drawn securely by Tuesday morning. And the white balls drawn were 10, 33, 41, 47, and 56. The red Powerball number drawn was 10. And the winning ticket belonged to a winner from California, who won the jackpot.

This Hiccup Proves the System Works

Minnesota is just one of 48 lottery games that participate in Powerball gameplay and sales. The drawing delay last November is just a reminder that hiccups can occur. But it’s nice to know the system has two-step verification in place to ensure every ticket and Powerball sale is effectively tallied. No drawing will take place unless and until every participating state’s sales are counted. And even with the delay, Powerball drawings can still be life-altering events for those who match the winning numbers.

Whenever and wherever you play Powerball, rest assured there are methods in place to guarantee your ticket sale is logged appropriately. And knowing that just reinforces the viability of the game and the even playing field for all those who play. Now all you need to do is choose some numbers and buy your tickets!

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