Tuesday, March 22, 2005

The winning number is...13! Oops, I meant 12

Lottery snafu irks hundreds in New York:
The way it's set up, the Daily News includes a seven-game ticket in its Sunday edition. Every day, it prints a list of 10 numbers to be scratched off the corresponding day's game, out of 15 possible spaces. If three of the revealed spaces show the same dollar amount, the contestant wins that money.

In Saturday's game, the number 13 was printed instead of the correct number, 12, in the list of scratch-off numbers.

The Daily News apologized to readers for publishing the wrong number and said it was putting up more than $1 million in cash as a prize pool for those affected by the error. A special drawing will have five $100,000 winners, five $10,000 winners and 12,790 other cash winners, the newspaper said in a statement Monday

D.L. Blair, the judging agency for the scratch-off game, transmitted the wrong number to the Daily News, newspaper spokeswoman Eileen Murphy said. The paper has no way of checking whether the numbers are correct, she said.
I don't subscribe to or buy the Daily News, but I expect there's a clause in the rules disclaiming responsibility for misprints. With 12,800 tickets, if the Daily News tried to pay each one, that's potentially $1.28 billion -- and still $128 million if only one in 10 winners claimed the $100,000 prize. It's just impossible for everyone to get paid, but at least the Daily News and D.L. Blair are trying to make good.

Now, think of the people who had the correct number after all and threw their tickets away, thinking they didn't win.


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