Columbia, SC (WLTX) — The South Carolina Education Lottery Commission has ruled they will not be paying out winners from the Christmas Day Holiday Cash Add-a-Play game.
The lottery said a glitch caused the game to create more $500 winners than it was supposed to.
During a lottery commission meeting Wednesday morning, they decided they will not pay out the winners that $500. Instead, they will reimburse those players for the money they spent on the tickets.
The resulted in millions of unintended winnings on Christmas day.
Between 5:51 p.m. to 7:53 p.m. on Christmas Day, officials say lottery terminals printed Holiday Cash Add‐A‐Play tickets with the same symbol repeated in all nine available play areas of the Add-A-Play ticket. They say winning tickets should have no more than five identical symbols on a single play.
To win, players had to get three Christmas trees in any vertical, horizontal or diagonal line.The error left many players with what appears to be a winning lottery ticket, but no money.
The South Carolina Education Lottery said that the computer system experienced a programming error on Christmas Day that affected Holiday Cash tickets.
Under state law, tickets produced in error aren't paid, according to interim South Carolina Education Lottery Executive Director Hogan Brown. However, officials put aside $19.6 million to cover claims from winners pending an investigation and receipt of legal advice.
After a review, officials said that amount of money would not be enough to cover the amount of claims from the two-hour period before the game was closed. Officials revised their estimate of money needed to pay out claims to $33.8 million.
In February, lottery officials said they were working with Gaming Laboratories International to help determine if they will pay out the winnings, about $33 million dollars.