Powerball apologises after ticket glitch bars players

Australians who dreamed of striking it rich did not get their chance.

Australians who dreamed of striking it rich did not get their chance. Photo: AAP

Hundreds of lottery punters were blocked from their chance at becoming instant millionaires during the last-minute rush for Thursday’s record Powerball jackpot.

Oz Lotteries has apologised for a ticket glitch caused by huge demand during the closing minutes of the $200 million draw.

Unprecedented demand for Australia’s biggest lottery jackpot in history has been blamed for syndicate players being locked out from their chance at the prize.

“The bulk of the ticket orders were placed on time, however a small portion of the more complicated syndicate entry requests were unable to be placed,” Oz Lotteries said on Friday.

“This was due to the nature of how syndicate entries are filled and the sheer load on servers in the final moments of the draw.”

Oz Lotteries apologised to the affected customers and issued a refund to those whose entries were not processed.

The lottery hopefuls had bought their tickets through the Oz Lotteries app as the minutes ticked down before the cut-off.

The lottery confirmed that its approved third-party seller would introduce an earlier deadline for large jackpots to avoid meltdowns in the future.

Two grinning winners

The massive jackpot during a cost-of-living crisis had millions of Australians dreaming their struggles could be over if they picked the  right numbers.

The odds of a single entry winning the division-one prize are more than 134 million to one — about the same chance as being struck by lightning twice in a lifetime.

The prize was claimed by two lucky entries who will split the winnings down the middle, with $100 million each.

A Queensland woman discovered she would take home half of the prize pool while getting ready for an early morning gym class.

The woman from the Brisbane suburb of Hawthorne was reportedly preparing to head out for her 6am class on Friday when she realised lottery officials had been searching for her.

She had bought an unregistered ticket for Thursday night’s draw, meaning officials had to wait for her to come forward to claim her share – the equal second-largest individual lottery win in Australian history.

“I scanned the ticket on The Lott app and all the winning numbers immediately lit up and I saw that I’d won $100 million on my phone,” she said, according to the Powerball operator.

“I started to pace the floor back and forth and question if it was even real.

“I didn’t know who to call or what to say. I was slapping my face and telling myself to wake up!”

The woman reportedly said she held on to the ticket “for dear life” and called her dad for advice.

She also ditched her planned gym class.

When asked how she planned to enjoy her life moving forward as a newly minted multi-millionaire, the Queenslander said she couldn’t wait to help others, go on an overseas family holiday and start her own business venture.

“I really want to change the course of direction with my career and it was the reason why I bought the ticket in the first place,” she said, according to The Lott.

“At the end of the day, money will not change who I am.”

There was unprecedented demand for Thursday night’s lottery. Photo: AAP

Officials had no such trouble uncovering the other winner — a couple in the NSW Hunter Valley town of Singleton.

The man and woman, who had purchased a 50-game ticket online for about $70, reportedly answered the Lott’s call on the first ring as they lay in bed shortly after the draw.

“It’s a lot of money. A lot of money to fathom!” the woman said.

“Well, I absolutely won’t be working anymore! I mean, honestly, do I really need to?

“My partner is here with me now. He’s a bit in shock. He loves his job, so I don’t know if he’ll be retiring.”

Alongside the two division-one winning entries, 22 lottery ticket holders each bagged the division-two prize of $177,093.

The Powerball jackpot jumped to an unprecedented $200 million – the largest lottery haul in Australian history – after no one snagged the top prize for six consecutive weeks.

Of the 20 Powerball division-one winners in 2023, eight were purchased in NSW, seven in Victoria, two each in South Australia and Western Australia and one in Queensland.

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