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On Thursday, June 10, the New York Lottery, published a statement on social media to alert their players about a "glitch" due to which prize claims for Powerball, New York Lotto, Cash4Life, and Take 5 games were put to hold.
"There has been a delay in finalizing draw results and prize payments for the following games: Powerball (all tickets) and for the 6/9 draw, New York Lotto, Cash4Life and Take 5," the statement reads. "Please hold on to your tickets until resolved."
The players are unable to claim winnings from the New York Lottery since they froze prize payouts last Wednesday. However, Brad Maione, the York State Gaming Commission Director of Communications, told Newsday that all the wagers have been properly recorded by the authorities and all winning patron tickets will be able to be redeemed as soon as the system is fully restored.
The players were frustrated as there was little information available on the problem, to begin with. Many of them reported that they had reached out to the Lottery for an update, only to receive a generic response that blamed the delay on a software glitch.
The Director explained that the cause of the delay was the enormous time taken by the lottery machines to identify the glitch, and the repair required a slow, methodical restoration of data.
The state lottery had to pause payouts in the first place because the glitch prevented numbers from being verifiable, creating an issue of legitimacy on the lottery's end. Multiple lottery players across social media were upset with the way the Lottery displayed an error message when scanning tickets, which looked very similar to a notification a player receives when their ticket is not deemed a winner. As a result, the players mistakenly threw their tickets away for which they may have won something.
According to Gary Pretlow, the State Assembly Gaming Committee Chairman, the payouts are expected to resume within a couple of days. As the system is expected to return to full functionality, the winning tickets worth less than $600 will be paid out first. Then, winning tickets worth more than $600 will be able to be processed, as per the lottery officials.
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