6 Charged With Exploiting Electronic Loophole in Lottery Vending Machines

AP Images
AP Images

In Connecticut, six individuals have been charged with exploiting a bug in electronic lottery machines that allowed them to select winning tickets last year.


In November 2015, Connecticut’s Department of Consumer Protection noticed an abnormal uptick in dispensed winning tickets, and suspended the 5 Card Cash machines, pending an investigation. The six men arrested, the state alleges, exploited a bug that allowed them to view the tickets that were about to be printed, and allowed them to discard the losing tickets:

An investigator for the Connecticut Lottery determined that terminal operators could slow down their lottery machines by requesting a number of database reports or by entering several requests for lottery game tickets. While those reports were being processed, the operator could enter sales for 5 Card Cash tickets. Before the tickets would print, however, the operator could see on a screen if the tickets were instant winners. If tickets were not winners, the operator could cancel the sale before the tickets printed.

The six were owners and employees of a series of convenience stores in Bloomfield and Windsor. The game remains suspended.

[Hartford Courant]

Andrew Liptak is the former Weekend editor of io9/Gizmodo. He is the co-editor of War Stories: New Military Science Fiction and hails from Vermont.



Bug exploit = crime? Personally don't see how this stands up. It's a lesson to the manufacturer to ship a correct system.