Claims for SC Lottery's Holiday Cash fiasco balloon to $35.5M - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Claims for SC Lottery's Holiday Cash fiasco balloon to $35.5M

The South Carolina Education Lottery's Holiday Cash game appeared to suffer a glitch. (Source: Live 5 News) The South Carolina Education Lottery's Holiday Cash game appeared to suffer a glitch. (Source: Live 5 News)
COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) -

The claims for a glitch that caused several false winners in a holiday-themed game by the South Carolina Education Lottery have ballooned up to $35.5 million, lottery officials said at a board meeting Tuesday.

The claims for the Holiday Cash glitch originally started at $19 million. 

Several lottery players across the state were upset by a glitch that showed them they won thousands of dollars in the game

Tuesday morning, the S.C. Education Lottery’s attorney, Dolly Garfield, said she now estimates the amount of claims totals $35.5 million, about $16 million more than was estimated in late December.

Before lotto commissioners went into executive session, Garfield told them that the lotto’s computer system vendor, Intralot, hadn’t agreed to fully cooperate with an investigation until moments before the meeting.

She seemed to suggest that commissioners need more information before a decision can be made on whether to pay the “winners” or not.

But will the lotto pay out those winnings? Here’s one player’s argument to lotto leaders.

“We read some of the comments, you know, on your webpage, and they feel like the winners took advantage of a system and that we should have known it’s flawed at that point, but it’s not like that," Carmen Carree said. "If someone is winning, why would you stop playing? We don’t stop playing when we’re losing, so we’re not going to stop playing when we’re winning.”

According to lottery officials, the same play symbol was repeated in all nine play areas on the ticket. The ticket would result in a top prize of $500. Several players were upset about the error. 

"As soon as the issue was identified, the Add-A-Play game was suspended immediately to conduct a thorough investigation," a statement said. "Instant (scratch) tickets and all other lottery games were not affected by this error."

Lottery officials immediately suspended Holiday Cash until further notice until the glitch is reviewed. It did not stop the would-be winners from going to the lottery office to try and claim their winnings. 

The South Carolina Education Lottery Commission has motioned to set aside $19.6 million to cover the potential winnings error. 

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