Ithuba blames Quick Pick number mystery on 'small technicality'

National Lottery operator Ithuba is investigating how an Eastern Cape man was issued seven Lotto and Powerball “Quick Pick” tickets with the same sequence of numbers‚ but it’s not up to it to tell the public how it happened.

The Daily Dispatch on Wednesday reported that avid Lotto player Kuselo Mtyamde‚ 56‚ of East London‚ questioned the authenticity of the gambling game after buying the tickets at different outlets on different dates.

Mtyamde bought seven Quick Pick Lotto and Powerball tickets from five different outlets between June and July. It was only in August while going through the tickets that he noticed they had the same numbers – the only difference being the bonus numbers on the Powerball tickets.

“Has somebody out there got an explanation for this?” he asked.

“I have been playing Lotto for the past 15 years and this is the first time something like this is happening.”

On Thursday‚ Ithuba blamed the issue on a technical glitch.

Spokesperson Anda Ngani said: “Ithuba would like to reassure all players who experienced this particular system error that this small technicality which has been duly corrected would not have in any way jeopardised any player’s chances of winning.”

When originally contacted last week‚ Ngani said Ithuba was “currently conducting an investigation and once we have concluded with our investigation‚ we will provide you with an update”‚ but failed to provide any new information on its investigation when approached ahead of Wednesday’s publication.

On Thursday‚ however‚ Ngani reiterated that Ithuba had “been conducting an investigation”‚ but said the “findings will be submitted to the National Lotteries Commission which will‚ in turn‚ use its discretion on the release of the report”.

The lottery operator “requests all players who have experienced this system error with the Quick Pick game to return any affected ticket to an Ithuba office‚ and Ithuba will reimburse the value of money played on that particular ticket”.

Mtyamde has since stopped using Quick Pick.

“I am comfortable choosing my own numbers‚ thank you very much. No more Quick Pick for me‚” he said.

Mtyamde said he bought the tickets between June 9 and July 10 from five different outlets in Nahoon and Cambridge East and West.

The Quick Pick ticket he bought in Nahoon on June 12 generated the numbers 03‚ 18‚ 30‚ 31‚ 33 and 11.

A week later‚ on June 19‚ he was issued with the same numbers when he bought a ticket from a retail outlet in Cambridge West.

Mtyamde‚ a retired sales rep‚ said he still harboured hopes of winning R1-million in the Lotto.

“If I were to win the Lotto I will invest the loot in a format that will allow me to withdraw a monthly salary from the winnings because I am no longer working‚” he said.

“I am very curious to find out what happened. It is disconcerting at the same time because I will not see the money on those seven tickets again.”

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