Max of 2,000 stores statewide had offline lottery machines Friday

Local News

State College, Pa- For about eight hours Friday, many stores across Pennsylvania were unable to sell lottery tickets.

The problem is now solved, but during the day on Friday some customers weren’t able to buy their tickets.

WTAJ investigated to see what caused the lottery system to go down.

The root of the problem was an internet connection issue, specifically for stores that use Verizon as a provider.

Half of the 10 Centre County stores WTAJ visited Friday afternoon had their lottery machines offline. Some customers were upset they couldn’t cash-out winning tickets, or buy new tickets.

Lottery tickets like the “Powerball” and “Cash 5” rely on an internet connection to generate numbers and print a ticket. 

That system was offline for many Centre County stores like the Uni-Mart on South Atherton Street.

“It’s difficult whenever you go to the store and you just want to buy one, and you can’t,” said Sean Zenbower from Boalsburg, Centre County.

Customers could still buy scratch-off tickets, but could not cash-in any winning tickets because the online system is needed to complete that transaction as well.

“They’d be missing out on my businesses as well as other people that are just coming there to cash it in,” said Zenbower.

Other customers weren’t too concerned the system was down.

“It’s not really going to stop business, they’re still going to get gas… people are going to buy cigarettes and everything else,” said Theodore Frederick.

But now that machines are back up-and-running, there’s renewed hope for hitting the jackpot.

“I want to get that Powerball,” Frederick said.

The PA Lottery told WTAJ that at one point on Friday about 2,000 stores across PA had machines offline.

Lottery officials say such a high volume of stores with this problem is very unusual. They say they hope this problem won’t occur again the future.

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