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Dec 4, 2023

Gaming Machines Malfunction on First Draw

Boledo and lottery buyers went out en masse on Sunday to purchase their favourite numbers for the Sunday Lottery and Jackpot, but many of them were disappointed and returned home without getting a chance to buy their tickets. The Government Boledo and Lotteries system was overwhelmed with the number of sales on Sunday that when more sales were being entered into the system, it caused the vending machines across the country to malfunction. News Five learned from a Government Lotteries official that the problem has since been corrected and that there should no longer be any glitches as far as the sale of Boledo and lottery tickets are concerned. As for the issue with printing the wrong number, that matter has to be sorted out before the ticket is printed. News Five’s Marion Ali reports.


Marion Ali, Reporting

There was no shortage of buyers for the December third, Sunday Lottery and jackpot draw, but as soon as buyers turned out to purchase their numbers, the new system suffered technical issues.


Joe Chau

Joe Chau, Boledo/Lottery Agent

“A lot of people come in at the same time, and that’s the reason sometimes the print system is slowed down. So a lot of people cannot get the numbers. The machine not really shutdown, but it freezes up. The paper cannot print out. And every time when we print among the number in there, we had to wait for like five minutes, some of the even more on that for printer one paper. A lot of people had to turn back so they cannot get dehn numba.”


Boledo and Lottery agent, Joe Chau told News Five that the machine assigned to his business – 88 Shopping Centre, malfunctioned repeatedly upon the command for it to print out customers tickets and that caused him to lose money. Some lottery buyers also felt that they lost out because they didn’t have a chance to get any tickets. Husband and wife, Linda and Joseph Tillett had bad experiences trying to get their tickets.


Joseph Tillett

Joseph Tillett, Lottery buyer

“Everywhere I go, the system down. I went all the way to 88, the system down. So I couldn’t get to buy my number. Ah mi wa buy mi 44, but I never get me 44.”


Marion Ali

“Well, ih never play soh yoh never lose.


Joseph Tillett

“Still I mi wa feel wa way cause suppose ih may play, ih mi wa  be mi lee Christmas money.”


Linda Tillett

Linda Tillett, Lottery buyer

“We got very early. We got about 8 o’clock.  And still we don’t get nothing. My husband never get nothing, cause the long line. I vex, vex, vex because all the system everywhere my husband go, I never get my number, none at all weh I mi want. So I mad. The system low, low, low. My husband goh da this chiney, goh da that place, 88, all about this man – we even cook dinner late sake ah that cause wi mi really want fi we lee Boledo, lee lottery, right? Because we say we mi wa buy, even the third we mi di buy – 03.30.”


Today, Managing Director of the Belize Government Lotteries Limited, Janel Espat, told News Five that while the preparation and testing for the first draw went fine, there was no expectation for the overwhelming amount of lottery buyers who turned out on Sunday, and that created a technical glitch in the system. Espat says the problem will not repeat itself.


On the phone: Janel Espat

On the phone: Janel Espat, Managing Director, Belize Government Lotteries Ltd.

“There was significant testing and while the developers expected that the demand would be very high, um, they were not prepared for the record sales that took place and as a result of that, the demand on the server was much greater than was anticipated. And that is essentially what caused the system to malfunction on Sunday, but the Belizean people can be assured that they have now moved it to a much larger server. And they have assured us that they have made every effort to ensure that this does not reoccur.”


Espat says that there were other issues that prevented tickets from being printed as well, but mostly that was caused because the agents failed to enable their Bluetooth or Wifi features to allow for the transactions to be successful. Meanwhile, Joe Chau told us that there were two occasions on Sunday when he had to absorb the losses for printed tickets that bore numbers that the purchasers did not call for. Under the new system, numbers that have already been printed cannot be voided, so Espat says cross-checking those numbers beforehand is important.


On the phone: Janelle Espat

“We have encouraged the sub-agents to ask customers to write down the numbers as they normally do, like when they’re purchasing telecom credit, or as an alternative, that the sub-agent shares the screen with the customer before the ticket is actually printed. So, you know, it is their responsibility to ensure that the customer has verified that indeed those are the numbers that they wish to purchase before the ticket is actually printed.”


Espat could not give us an estimate of how much was lost in sales on Sunday as a result of the overload and subsequent malfunction. Marion Ali for News Five.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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