Keno Players Say They Are Owed $2M, Even If They Won Because Of Computer Glitch

Image courtesy of Lisa Brewster

If you win a $1 million Keno game twice within a matter of minutes, you may be the luckiest person on Earth. Or you could also be trying to take advantage of a computer glitch.

This distinction is at the center of a legal dispute between a pair of Keno players and the Delaware Lottery.

The News Journal of Wilmington reports that in Dec. 2015, one of the plaintiffs purchased a $1 million winning Keno ticket. Minutes later, he and the other plaintiff bought another ticket that also won — for another $1 million.

But when they tried to claim their reward, the Delaware Lottery refused to honor the tickets.

Lottery officials said [PDF] that there was a computer glitch on that date that lasted for about 20 minute. During that time, the Keno system transmitted the same numbers that had been drawn earlier in the day, rather than randomly drawn numbers.

An investigation found that the glitch wasn’t the result of tampering, but that some players noticed the re-transmission of the duplicate numbers and tried to take advantage of the malfunction, explained Delaware Lottery Director Vernon Kirk. Five winning draws were voided as a result, “because the numbers were not randomly selected and thus did not constitute a game of chance and were not otherwise in compliance with the lottery’s rules for Keno.”

The lottery refunded the purchase price of the tickets, but that wasn’t good enough for the two players now claiming they’re owed $2 million. Their lawsuit, filed in Delaware Superior Court, claims that the Delaware Lottery and Kirk violated state law and the rules governing the lottery system.

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