Iowa Lottery error sends Powerball winners on emotional rollercoaster

Iowa Lottery said it was down to “human error”  (Copyright 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)
Iowa Lottery said it was down to “human error” (Copyright 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

Several people in Iowa thought they had won the lottery, only for it to be taken away from them hours later due to a “human error” - however, those who cashed in before they were taken down were able to keep the cash.

For around seven hours, some Powerball players thought they had won after the Iowa Lottery posted the wrong winning numbers for the game.

The state’s lottery said that a “human reporting error” caused the winning numbers from Monday’s Powerball drawing to state to be displayed incorrectly.

The wrong numbers were posted on the Iowa Lottery’s website around 12.30am on Tuesday, but they were not able to correct the numbers until several hours later at 3.30pm.

It was not until just after 7am that lottery staffers noticed that the numbers were wrong; at that point, they had been up just under seven hours, and they immediately suspended the results.

Iowa Lottery has apologised for the inconvenience (AP)
Iowa Lottery has apologised for the inconvenience (AP)

The Iowa lottery said it takes time to correct a mistake, as all lottery terminals and self-serve kiosks needed to be updated, meaning some winners were blissfully unaware that they were actually losers for hours.

The national Powerball drawing was correct, but the subsequent state reporting was where the system failed.

Unfortunately, for the people who initially thought they had won, their excitement was instantly crushed when the announcement was made.

However, while they didn’t say how many people had the incorrect winning numbers, they told anyone who was able to cash their ticket in before the numbers were taken down at around 7am was allowed to keep the money.

“We at the Iowa Lottery sincerely apologise for the interruption,” they said in their statement.

“Lottery staffers will continue to review drawing procedures with an eye toward improvements in the future.”

The correct winning numbers in Monday’s Powerball drawing were 2-21-38-61-66 and Powerball 12. The Power Play number was 2.

The lottery said the initial incorrect numbers would have resulted in prizes from around $4 to $200.

For those who cashed in with the correct numbers, around 3,998 Powerball players won money from Monday’s draw, also ranging from $4 to $200.

Monday night’s Powerball jackpot was an estimated $355 million.