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Duplicate ticket issue prompts BC Lotteries machine freeze
Published Thursday, April 18, 2019 6:01PM PDT Last Updated Thursday, April 18, 2019 7:05PM PDT
The BC Lottery Corporation has quietly taken hundreds of automated ticket kiosks offline after a customer reported getting duplicate number combinations from the same machine on Quick Pick purchases made days apart.
The company is calling it a "technical issue," stressing that duplicate number combinations are possible when numbers are randomly assigned through Quick Pick.
But the lottery corporation also acknowledges two sets of identical three-line tickets is unusual and they have experts analyzing Self-Service Terminals at bars and restaurants as a result. They took all 695 of the automated kiosks offline at 6pm Monday without fanfare.
In a Facebook post, Peace River District resident Anne Steeves posted two Lotto Max tickets side-by-side, displaying two number sets that were the same.
One ticket had an Extra pick and the other did not; the retailer number is the same on both tickets.
BC Lottery confirms a ticketholder contacted them earlier this month and they took the machines offline after an initial analysis.
When asked how many duplicate tickets were issued, the company said it couldn’t speculate and were still looking into specifics, including how many tickets were issued and how this could happen.
The company points out every number combination has the same chances of winning and that since number are randomly assigned by Quick Pick software, more than one player can have the seven-number combination.
They stressed that retail ticket vendors use different software on their terminals and BCLC has "full confidence" in that system.
BCLC also points out that the system used to draw winning numbers is completely separate.
When asked by CTV News Vancouver if duplicate number sets from the same machine could be the result of tampering, the company said they wouldn’t speculate on the cause and were waiting for the results of their analysis and investigation, which is being conducted by BC Lotteries’ technology team in consultation with experts.
BCLC said it doesn’t have a timeline for returning the 695 self-serve terminals to service.