Lotto Glitch Leads To Mass Losing Spree in Oregon

  • October 2, 2018
  • Blog

Today, 44 U.S. states feature a lottery of some kind, and millions of Americans love testing their luck. A lotto scanner can be found in thousands of gas stations and convenience stores. But what do you do when a glitch in the system says your winning ticket is a loser? In Oregon, that was the case this last July.

Lasting nearly six hours, a system glitch caused every lottery ticket scanner in the state to misread tickets. Luckily, the glitch only affected one specific game — Keno. In Oregon, Keno was played nearly 73.7 million times in 2017. Scott Graf of Newport, Oregon, nearly lost $1,120 in winnings because of this glitch. Lucky for him he decided to re-check his tickets on the Keno website. To date, however, there are still $1,400 unclaimed winnings resulting specifically from the incorrect lottery scanner.

Lottery officials have specified that the glitch was caused by a scheduled maintenance in the software. The update caused a corrupted file in the system that forced the lottery scanner to display only losing tickets. Officials have also explained that issues of this nature are rare. Regular maintenance of your lotto ticket scanner can help prevent issues like this from recurring.

To date, the Oregon Lottery hasn’t made a point to announce the glitch that cost people $1,400. Searching for the potential winners has proven difficult considering the game is widely anonymous and cash-based. When someone scans a losing ticket or scratcher, it usually goes right into the trash. Normally, using a scanner for lottery tickets removes a lot of the human interaction within the game.

Lottery tickets are incredibly popular. More than half the population of the United States claims to have purchased a lottery ticket in their lifetime. Of course, the reality of operating a computer-based game is that they can sometimes experience glitches and crashes of this nature. Though $1,400 seems like a lot of money, to the grand sum of $103,000,000 that is typically brought in over the course of a year, it’s merely a drop in the hat. Oregon lottery officials claim to have worked as quickly as possible to fix the problem.

According to Senator Sara Gelser, the lottery officials should have taken the entire system offline when they discovered the malfunction. Gelser claims that leaving the lotto scanner machines running while knowing they were providing incorrect information was taking advantage of Oregonians.