CHICAGO (CBS) — A lottery ticket worth just a couple of dollars may have ended up worth hundreds. It’s a glitch that is good for players but is costing stores money at every location in Illinois where lottery tickets are sold.
The problem has been fixed, and the stores CBS 2’s Charlie De Mar spoke with say they haven’t had any issues this week. But they are still out the money they gave away.
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At Archer Liquors lottery players were getting really lucky.
“Utter surprise,” said Randy Wesselhoff. “They thought they had four bucks, and we gave them 150 bucks.”
The Illinois Lottery installed new terminals across the state at every store where lottery tickets are sold last week.
But there was just one costly problem.
“Until we get our money back, we are short the money,” Wesselhoff said.READ MORE: Chicago Weather: Frost Advisory Until Saturday Morning
A glitch caused issues validating lottery tickets. In many cases customers walked away with more money than they should have, leaving retailers to put up the cash in what a lottery spokesman calls one of the largest lottery terminal upgrades of its kind.
“The normal process is to just go ahead and pay that right out. We didn’t question it. We’re not the ones that are supposed to double check on the ticket,” Wesselhoff said.
He knew something was wrong when receipts showed the store paid out $150 to one customer and $300 to another, much more than they should have won.
The glitch, in large part, meant big paydays for customers, but was costly for stores like Archer Liquors.
“I assume that they’re going to, in good faith, they are going to pay that back, but I have a feeling that from what I hear other stores have the same problem,” said Wesselhoff.
“The key is that we had a breakdown,” said Bill Fleischli, executive vice president for Illinois Petroleum Marketers Associations and the Illinois Convenience Store Association. “We had a company that knew it, got on it, didn’t deny it, and fixed it. And I think that’s something when you are dealing in bureaucracies like that, you are happy to have that.”MORE NEWS: Allan M. Brown Of Countryside Is The Suspect In Kenosha Police Shooting
The Illinois Lottery says stores can file claims for reimbursement through the mail.