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Lottery glitch stops man from cashing in

WILKES-BARRE – From the looks of it, Joe Finley has a winning Powerball ticket.

His ticket matched three white ball numbers for the June 17 drawing. With the power play for that night’s drawing, the prize for matching three numbers is $35.

But when Finley went to collect his winnings, he was told his ticket was a “No Winner.”

“I took it in on Friday to cash it in and it came out as a loser,” Finley said.

A devoted Powerball player, Finley purchases his tickets near his home at the A-Plus/Sunoco at Academy Street and Carey Avenue every Wednesday and Saturday when Powerball is played.

“I always play the power play, it’s the only way to play Powerball,” he said.

Finley said he spoke to the store clerk, who told him that Powerball recently changed its bar codes on tickets to verify winners and losers.

He got a second opinion at Peter’s Deli on Blackman Street where, for the second time, his ticket came back “No Winner.”

“I didn’t think anything about it,” Finley said. “But as I thought about it, if it happened to me, it could happen to someone else.”

Finley’s ticket apparently shows he matched three numbers – 37, 42, 53 – in the drawing for June 17. The power-play multiplier that night was 5, which increased the prize from $7 to $35, according to Powerball.com.

Veronica Anderson, spokesperson for the Pennsylvania Lottery, said there was a “minor glitch” in the computer system for the June 17th Powerball drawing.

Anderson said the glitch occurred when a software conversion took place that day.

Approximately 200 out of 87,000 winning Powerball tickets were affected, Anderson said.

“Retailers were aware of the conversion,” Anderson said. “We experienced a minor problem affecting 200 tickets that weren’t in the system.”

Anderson said those with winning Powerball tickets that were marked as “No Winner” for the June 17 drawing may file a claim with the Pennsylvania Lottery. The local office is at 49 S. Washington St., Wilkes-Barre; the phone number is 826-2091 or the main lottery headquarters at 1-800-692-7481.

Powerball is played in 32 states, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

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