NY Lottery Computer Outage Just A Temporary Glitch

Written By Derek Helling on June 18, 2021

Like many other businesses, gambling companies heavily rely on computer systems. A recent New York Lottery computer glitch revealed what happens when those systems experience interruptions.

For a few days, NY Lottery players experienced difficulties in claiming their winnings. While the issue was short-lived, it’s a reminder of how your ticket purchases are part of massive operations in the Empire State.

New York Lottery computer glitch rectified

On Tuesday morning, the NY Lottery told PlayNY that the “system is operational.” A spokesperson for the lottery declined to share details of how the glitch happened or efforts to prevent another occurrence. Andrew Donovan of LocalSyr cites a lottery spokesperson saying that restoration of services took “non-stop work.”

The outage began last Wednesday night. During the outage, players couldn’t claim winnings at claim centers or retailers. The NY Lottery assures players that despite the glitch, the system accurately recorded all plays. Players who have been waiting can now claim their winnings.

As always, players with prizes of $600 can claim those winnings at any lottery retailers, subject to funds availability. If your prize is $601 or more, however, you must visit a NY Lottery claim center. Claim centers are still not accepting walk-in traffic. Winners must make appointments at the claim center nearest them online.

Even though online lottery ticket sales remain illegal in NY, the NY Lottery is still a business that greatly depends on computer systems. Considering the volume of activity, it is a rather robust one to boot.

NY Lottery’s volume makes the restoration process methodical

The NY Lottery regularly sells over $10 billion worth of tickets each year. That’s billions of transactions, each triggering a unique record on the system. To avoid paying out incorrect amounts or other errors, the NY Lottery opted to pause all payments.

That started with draw games like Cash4Life, New York Lotto, Powerball, and Take 5. The lottery even delayed posting results for those games until it completed the system restoration. Those results are now live on the app and website. Players can also now check their tickets at retailers as well.

Players can hope that the lottery’s technology staff has learned from this outage to prevent another similar incident. Either way, it’s a lesson in the sheer size of the NY Lottery’s business and the company’s importance to life in the Empire State.

Photo by Miloseos | Dreamstime.com
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Derek Helling

Derek Helling is a freelance journalist who resides in Chicago. He is a 2013 graduate of the University of Iowa and covers the intersections of sports with business and the law.

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