Grinchy law denies prize to Christmas glitch lottery winners

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - South Carolina lottery officials say they will not pay $35 million in prizes won by players when a Christmas Day glitch in a game briefly made everyone a winner.

The South Carolina Education Lottery Commission voted Wednesday to reimburse players only the $1 paid for Holiday Cash Add-A-Play tickets.

Officials say a coding glitch made each of the 71,000 tickets bought for about two hours last Dec. 25 a winner.

The game generated trees on a tic-tac-toe grid, paying up to $500 when someone got three in a line. Lottery officials say trees were printed in all nine slots.

A statement from the lottery cited a South Carolina law that prizes resulting from a ticket printed in error must not be paid.

Two lawsuits have already been filed by players.

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