In the highly entertaining romantic comedy ‘Bruce Almighty’, Jim Carrey is granted the powers of God and has to respond via an outlook email system to prayers. Having too many to respond to, he decides to ‘respond yes to all’. The following day, he wakes up and everyone has won the lottery.
In a somewhat similar story, a computer glitch in South Carolina’s lottery game produced an overabundance of winning tickets for about two hours, after which organizers stopped the game and decided to investigate.
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en-gb"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Holiday Cash Add-A-Play game sales and validations have been suspended until further notice. Players with tickets affected are advised to hold on to their tickets(s) until a review is completed. Updates will be provided.</p>— SC Education Lottery (@sclottery) <a href="https://twitter.com/sclottery/status/946028364283777024?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">27 December 2017</a></blockquote>
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After they met, a press release stated that the South Carolina Education Lottery Board of Commissioners had decided to set aside some $19.6 million, which "equates to the potential amount represented by" the winning tickets.
Players have not been paid out for the moment, but were advised to hold on to their tickets
The statement read: "From 5:51 p.m. to 7:53 p.m., the same play symbol was repeated in all nine available play areas on tickets which would result in a top prize of $500. No more than five identical play symbols should appear for a single play."
"As soon as the issue was identified, the Add-A-Play game was suspended immediately to conduct a thorough investigation."
The Holiday Cash Add-A-Play tickets that were purchased by players "are advised to hold on to their tickets until the review is completed. A further announcement will be made at the end of this week."
One local woman thought she had finally won enough to take her kids to Disney world. Ms Nicole Coggins of Liberty said: "I had been promising them for years and I thought I would finally get to, and now I can't."
"We didn't do anything wrong. The stores didn't do anything wrong. It's the SCEL's fault. I think they should either honour the tickets or give us our money back."