The Minnesota lottery said on Thursday that an unprecedented delay to a record $ 2.04 billion this week is due to a technical issue with a two-tier verification process. Powerball jackpot drawing.

Someone who bought a ticket in Southern California had all the winning numbers, becoming the first Powerball jackpot winner in over three months.

But the multi-state drawing on Monday night was delayed by almost 10 hours – until Tuesday morning – while lottery officials addressed the problem.

Minnesota Lottery officials said Thursday it had a problem with the two-tier verification system that is operated by third-party vendors. The lottery claims the system is designed to ensure that any lottery ticket purchased has a fair and equal chance of winning.

The Minnesota Lottery said one retailer is responsible for printing the tickets and recording each transaction to verify that each ticket is genuine; the other seller is responsible for checking the work of the first one. Each night before the draw can take place, the two systems must “balance” – meaning every data entry must pass between them and match perfectly, the Minnesota Lottery said.

Record $ 2 billion Powerball ticket sold at Altadena gas station
In addition to Joe’s Service Center, the Mobil Gas Station in Altadena – an unincorporated community in Los Angeles County, California – that sold the winning ticket for a record $ 2.04 billion Powerball prize pool. November 8, 2022

Dean Musgrove / Los Angeles Daily News / Getty Images

Both systems were unable to communicate in real time on Monday night, so there was a delay in their rebalancing, the Minnesota Lottery reported. Officials worked on the problem for hours, then realized that all day sales data needed to be reprocessed, which took another 5 and a half hours.

“While we were disappointed to delay the national draw, the integrity and accuracy of our games are always a priority,” Minnesota Lottery said in a statement, adding: “At no point have sales or game data been compromised.”

The Minnesota Lottery apologized but added, “Any mistake in the draw would be worse than an actual delay.”

The $ 2.04 billion jackpot was by far the largest lottery jackpot ever won, surpassing the previous record of $ 1.586 billion won by three Powerball ticket holders in 2016. Only the previous four jackpots have surpassed the $ 1 billion mark, but none of them come close to the current prize, which started at $ 20 million on August 6 and grew in three months without a win. Nobody has won the jackpot since August 3rd.

The $ 2.04 billion prize goes to the winner who selects the annuity, which is paid annually for 29 years. Nearly all winners select $ 997.6 million in cash.

The jackpot ticket was sold in Joe Service Center in Altadena, an unincorporated community in the foothills of Northeast Los Angeles. For the sale of the winning ticket, company owner Joe Chahayed will receive a maximum Powerball bonus of $ 1 million.

The odds of winning the jackpot are 1 in 292.2 million. The game is played in 45 states as well as Washington, Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands.

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