Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Lottery Refuses to Say Why Powerball Machine Failed

The fault that prevented a New Zealand Powerball machine from ejecting a winning ball during a live broadcast last month has been identified, but the New Zealand Lotteries Commission will not say what the problem was.

The incident occurred on Saturday, October 25, and the machine's failure to spit out the ball during the NZD$ 9 million drawing meant a second drawing had to be conducted off air under the supervision of Audit New Zealand.

Such failures are rare. The lottery has been conducting drawings for 27 years and last month's incident was only the sixth time a technical problem has spoiled a televised drawing.

The lottery is now working with, machine manufacturers, Ryo Catteau, to correct the fault on the NZD$ 40,000 machine.

The New Zealand Lottery has two machines at its disposal. Both of them are named after flowers (stresa and mimosa) and the chosen machine is selected at random, on the night of the draw, under the close supervision of Lotto, Audit NZ and Internal Affairs representatives.

There are two sets of balls available for each machine and the set used is also the result of a random selection process.

Lotto spokeswoman Emilia Mazur would not comment on the nature of the fault but confirmed the failed Mimosa machine was tested and found to be in perfect working order just before the live drawing took place.

New Zealand Powerball drawings are held once each week on Saturdays. The next drawing is on Saturday, November 15, 2014. The estimated jackpot is NZD$ 15 million.