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Wednesday, October 5, 2022
HomeNewsArchivesLottery Commission Hopes New System is ‘Step Toward Efficiency’

Lottery Commission Hopes New System is ‘Step Toward Efficiency’

V.I. Lottery Commission members got a preview Thursday of a new automated system that’s designed to streamline the ticketing and drawing process for its traditional lottery game. Members are also hoping the new system will be a real deterrent to lottery fraud.

Derek Francis, who was contracted for $48,000 to design the system, said during the commission’s meeting that it is already online and one test was completed last week. But before Lottery can officially launch in October, officials said they would like to talk to all its dealers and representatives throughout the territory.

Commission members described the new system as a “step toward efficiency.” Francis said Lottery currently has the Department of Property and Procurement print all of its 34,000 tickets in bulk, which are then brought back to the Lottery’s main office, counted and distributed to the dealers. The dealers then count and sort the tickets, and distribute them to the different locations around the territory where they buy their tickets.

The sales locations have to verify receiving the tickets and report back to Lottery about the numbers. The day before a drawing, each sales office tallies up all unsold tickets, which then have to be transported from one location to the next on its way back to Lottery, Francis said.

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“Then there’s the sales reporting, which is done and written up every day,” he said. “It’s a long and tedious process everyone has to go through.”

And because the process is “so manual,” the risk is that someone can just pull a winning ticket out of an unsold packet and cash it. However, the new system will put safeguards in place to limit chances of fraud and theft. Francis said the tickets will have a bar code, which registers it on the system so Lottery will know if it’s a valid ticket if someone comes in to cash it.

“The system would say void if someone goes to make a copy of a ticket, and we have controls in place where you can’t print a duplicate ticket unless it is lost or stolen,” he said.

With the system, Lottery can set and change drawing dates and prizes, can add terminal options and extra bonuses for specific drawings.

Tickets can now be printed at any sales location, and on demand, Francis said. While each dealer generally has their own numbers, the system allows them to request specific ticket numbers if they want. They can also request tickets with specific endings or even random numbers, and instead of getting whole packs, they can chose to pick up sheets and come back for more.

The system will never show or print a ticket that is unavailable, Francis said.

Lottery officials said they plan to roll out a public education campaign about the new system but will consult the dealers first.

Commission members attending the meeting were Angel Dawson Jr., Debra Gottlieb, Lloyd Daley, Adrienne Williams and Conrad E. Francois II.

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