Hundreds of Aussies were barred from their chance to win Thursday’s record Powerball jackpot thanks to an error that will change the way large lotteries function.
Two division one winners were confirmed and will split the $200 million prize down the middle — a woman from Hawthorne, Queensland and a couple from Singleton, NSW.
“It was an early wake-up call when I decided to pull my ticket out at 6am to check it while getting ready for the gym,” the Queensland winner said.
“I scanned the ticket on The Lott app and all the winning numbers immediately lit up, and I saw that I’d won $100 million on my phone.
“I started to pace the floor back and forth and question if it was even real. I didn’t know who to call or what to say. I was slapping my face and telling myself to wake up.”
The NSW couple said they were considering a long overseas holiday after they discovered their win.
“I just had a look a moment ago, and I instantly went: ‘Oh my god’,” the woman said.
“You joke about winning, but never expect it to happen to you.
“It’s a lot of money. A lot of money to fathom.”
But refunds had to be issued to a “small portion” of syndicate players whose entries weren’t processed by officials before the record-breaking draw.
The players had bought their tickets through the Oz Lotteries app during a last minute rush amid unprecedented demand.
“The bulk of the ticket orders were placed on time, however a small portion of the more complicated syndicate entry requests were unable to be placed, with the money refunded to customers,” Oz Lotteries said on Friday.
“This was due to the nature of how syndicate entries are filled and the sheer load on servers in the final moments of the draw.”
Oz Lotteries apologised to customers affected by the error.
Its approved third-party seller will introduce an earlier deadline for large jackpots to avoid a repeat of the issue, the lottery confirmed.