A lottery company in South Carolina, US, could be forced to pay out $US19.6 million ($25.1 million) worth of prize money after a computer glitch produced duplicate winning tickets for two hours.

The bung program generated winning “add a play” tickets worth $US500 ($640) each on Christmas Day. Merry fucking Christmas, indeed.

Doing what anyone one do after picking up on the glitch, Nicole Coggins and her mother-in-law, Shawanna Ladd, purchased 100 bucks ($128) worth of tickets from a number of outlets. The total haul of the winnings is worth $US18,000 ($23,000) in prize money.

“I played $10 first, and I won on every ticket,” she told WYFF News 4“So I thought, ‘Well, maybe there is something wrong with their machine. This can’t be real.’” 

When they went to collect their bounty of cash, the pair were told the tickets were invalid, but they could still have a decent chance of getting the money.

“From 5:51pm to 7:53pm, the same play symbol was repeated in all nine available play areas on tickets which would result in a top prize of $500,” The South Carolina Education Lottery wrote in a statement.

No more than five identical play symbols should appear for a single play. As soon as the issue was identified, the Add-A-Play game was suspended immediately to conduct a thorough investigation.

All players who purchased a Holiday Cash Add-A-Play ticket on Christmas Day during the time period affected are advised to hold on to their ticket(s) until the review is completed.

The company will be holding a meeting before the end of the month to decide how the situation should be handled, but have advised winners the money will be set aside should they need to pay them out.

Something tells me they might not have a choice, but I guess we’ll find out at the end of January.

Source: News.com.au
Image: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory