Four Lottery Draws That Went Wrong
Lottery lovers around the world may have their attentions solely focused on landing a colossal jackpot just in time for Christmas, but it’s sometimes easy to forget that these games do offer plenty of amusement throughout the year. So, join us on a journey into the wonderful world of lotteries and discover what happens when things don’t quite go to plan.
In July 2017, a routine New Zealand Powerball draw descended into anarchy and was forced off air following what was later described as “technical difficulties”. The draw started like any other, with host Sonia Gray announcing the winning Lotto numbers as they appeared, however, chaos soon ensued when the Auckland-born actress revealed the Powerball number.
“There it is - Powerball number six,” the presenter informed the watching audience, before the nation gasped as a rogue ball knocked the randomly selected sphere from its perch. Thinking on her feet, the bewildered host quickly said: "Okay unfortunately we appear to be experiencing some technical difficulties. The remainder of the draw will now be conducted off-air under audit scrutiny.”
In the game’s 30-year history, less than a handful of draws have had to be redrawn, a result that led to a certain amount of anger amongst players, with some even believing the draw to be rigged. However, it wasn’t all fist-shaking and burning torches as some ticket holders benefited from the mishap: "I can't complain, I won more with the new Powerball number," said one participant.
German Lottery Glitch
There were similar scenes in April 2013, as a German Lotto draw experienced a glitch that caused widespread disgruntlement. An error with the ball machine saw the numbers 46 and 47 fail to emerge from the drum and make their way into the see-through plastic tube. The gaffe, which was witnessed by 2.3 million viewers, forced Lotto bosses to carry out a second draw, rendering the first set of results null and void.
Following the draw, Dirk Martin, head number caller from the Lotto operator issued a statement to all ticket holders, blaming "a technical fault that has never happened before. A Lotto Rhineland-Pfalz spokesman soon added that the freak occurrence "had turned everything upside down" and that action would be taken to ensure nothing like this would happen in the future.
Irish Lotto Illusion
Irish Lotto lovers were left baffled in October 2017, as a ball in the winning line seemed to bear two different numbers. The second ball to fall out of the drum may have been announced as 38, but one of the figures display clearly looked like it was actually a 33. Little was made of the incident on air, but Twitter exploded into life with claims that the draw was rigged.
Naturally, complaints also flooded into the Irish National Lottery’s headquarters in Dublin, resulting in officials being forced to clear up the misunderstanding: “A brief reflection of light during filming caused an illusion and some players to think there were two numbers on ball 38,” the statement read, before continuing: “The weight and size of all Lotto balls, and the numbers, are strictly checked in advance of each draw.”
Invasion of the UK Lotto
It isn’t just the lottery balls that presenters need to keep a close eye on, with the audience proving just as difficult to control. In May 2006, a UK Lotto draw was subject to a stage invasion as riled protesters stormed the studio, bringing the BBC broadcast to a halt. Campaigning on behalf of equal-parenting rights group Fathers 4 Justice, two men ran on screen wearing slogan-bearing t-shirts and carrying crudely drawn placards in an attempt to address the nation.
Fortunately, the loutish men were stopped in their tracks by security and quickly escorted out of the building and, no doubt, into the back of a police van. Presenter Eamonn Holmes later described the protest as a “scary moment”, however, the popular TV personality raised a few smiles after he opted to duck for cover behind his diminutive co-host Sarah Cawood, using the former Live & Kicking star as a human shield. During the broadcast, the voice of the National Lottery balls, Alan Dedicoat, labelled the ordeal as a “kerfuffle”.
Lottery Errors Are Rare
Of course, errors during lottery draws are rare, so why not try your hand at winning a sizeable sum of money in the run up to Christmas. You can pick your numbers online for a variety of games, including the likes of US Powerball, EuroMillions and UK Lotto. Good luck!