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South Carolina lottery tickets
** CORRECTS YEAR IN LAST SENTENCE TO 2002 ** Donna Foster, manager at the Exxon Station on Blossom Street, checks her inventory of scratch-off lottery tickets Thursday, Dec. 29, 2005, in Columbia, S.C. This store was the first to sell the scatch-off lottery tickets in South Carolina in 2002. (AP Photo/Mary Ann Chastain)

A glitch led dozens of lottery players to falsely believe they'd won



A computer error recently resulted in dozens of people paying for lottery tickets that incorrectly told them they had won, according to WYFF 4.

WYFF 4 on Wednesday reported that officials with the South Carolina Education Lottery (SCEL) confirmed the programming glitch the night before.

The glitch caused an issue with the Holiday Cash Add-A-Play game, which is a $1 instant terminal-generated contest.

SCEL officials said in a statement that Intralot, the lottery’s computer system vendor, experienced a programming error on Christmas Day.

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The same play symbol was repeated on all nine available play areas on tickets between 5:51 p.m. to 7:53 p.m. local time on Christmas Day.

The result would deliver a top prize of $500, but no more than five identical play symbols are supposed to appear during a single play.

SCEL officials noted that instant (scratch) tickets and all other lottery games were not affected by the problem.

Holiday Cash Add-A-Play game sales and validations are suspended until further notice, they added, and a further announcement about the impacted tickets is coming at week’s end.

The contest involves participants notching three Christmas trees in any diagonal, horizontal or vertical line to earn a victory.

Nicole Coggins of Liberty, South Carolina on Tuesday said she was disappointed after spending $100 on seemingly winning tickets only to discover she would not receive any prizes.

“We didn’t do anything wrong,” she said of the tickets. “The stores didn’t do anything wrong.”

“It’s [the SCEL’s] fault,” Coggins added. “I think they should either honor the tickets or give us our money back.”

Coggins turned emotional when describing how she had promised her children a trip to Disney World in Bay Lake, Florida, following what she believed was a jackpot.

“I had been promising them for years and I thought I would finally get to, and now I can’t,” she said.

“I’ll always have my family and I’m thankful for my family and that’s the more important thing in the world,” Coggins added.

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