Scuffles reported among customers angered as Powerball machines balk with printouts
by The Associated Press
November 27, 2012 12:50 AM | 1210 views | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
A customer waits for his lottery ticket to print out at a convenience store Monday in Atlanta. As the Powerball jackpot soars, a Georgia Lottery official says the agency is working to get its equipment operational again after some machines have been down.
A customer waits for his lottery ticket to print out at a convenience store Monday in Atlanta. As the Powerball jackpot soars, a Georgia Lottery official says the agency is working to get its equipment operational again after some machines have been down.
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ATLANTA — As the Powerball jackpot soars, the Georgia Lottery on Monday was trying to repair some of its machines that were taking a long time to process tickets, angering some customers eager to place their bets and even resulting in some reported scuffles.

Lottery spokeswoman Kimberly Starks could not say how widespread the problem was or provide other details.

“We apologize for the inconvenience that players experienced earlier on Sunday while our terminals were downloading upgraded software,” the Georgia Lottery said on its Facebook page.

“We are aware of it. We’re working on it,” said lottery spokeswoman Tandi Reddick.

Wednesday’s Powerball jackpot is $425 million. Drawings are held on Wednesday and Saturday nights and Powerball is played in 42 states. Officials at the Multi State Lottery Association said there were no equipment problems reported in other states.

Officials couldn’t say exactly when the problems with the Georgia machines began or how many were affected.

James Lee, owner of Walton Food Markets, said the machine in his downtown Atlanta store was running even more slowly Monday as customers lined up for tickets around 2:45 p.m.

“This morning, one ticket (took) five minutes,” he said. “Today’s terrible, worse. It doesn’t work at all.”

Lee said he has called Georgia Lottery when his machine freezes to verify winning numbers. Lee said the hold time on the phone and the time it takes to print and check tickets has led to arguments between annoyed customers.

“We’ve had a few fights,” he said. “Customers, they don’t have the patience.”

On Sunday, state lottery officials also launched online ticket sales. The process requires signing up for the Georgia Lottery Players Club and requesting a debit card to be used for the purchases. The process appeared to be working Monday.
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