. - It wasn't the decision dozens, if not hundreds of people, were hoping for. After a few hours behind closed doors, South Carolina Education Lottery commissioners reconvened to vote to continue investigating what went wrong and why on the night of December 25th – when so many players from all corners of the state won the lottery because of a purported glitch.
"This is the right step to take at this time," said Tim Madden, an attorney for the South Carolina Education Lottery.
Carmen Carree, one of the winners disagrees.
"When it comes to gambling, sometimes the house just loses, you know, and South Carolina Education Lottery lost, and they're trying to find ways to just drag this on just forever to infinity," said Carree, who's from Columbia.
In the meeting, lottery officials said, actually, their computer system vendor – Athens, Greece-based Intralot – is responsible for the delay. Lotto attorney Dolly Garfield told commissioners that Intralot wasn't cooperating with the glitch investigation until Tuesday morning.
Madden, the other lotto attorney, hopes that investigation will be complete as soon as possible so a decision can be made on whether to pay players or not.
"We hope that it's as soon as the next board meeting. That's unlikely. The next board meeting is February 7th. A lot of that depends on when they're able to get started, but the goal is to get them started immediately," he said. "I think it's unfortunate, and it's a very difficult situation for the commission to be in. The players are the lifeblood of this organization, and it's important that the players know that this commission has their best interests at heart."
Lotto officials now say the Christmas Day glitch was a bigger mistake than they thought a few weeks ago. They say it created about $35.5 million in winnings from the sale of 42,000 tickets within a window of only about two hours during which the so-called glitched tickets were sold. A few weeks ago, the estimate was just shy of $20 million.
The new estimate is why Carree now believes the battle to get the winnings she feels she's owed will be tougher and longer.
"All hope is gone," she said. "Once they came up with the higher number -- $35.5 million – we all realized at that point that we're going to have to seek legal action."
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Lotto attorney, Madden, told WIS he does understand why so many players are frustrated. However, he said the commissioners have an obligation to make the right decision – even if that takes them a few more months.