Skip to main content

System glitch leaves thousands unclaimed at Atlantic Lottery


About $27,000 sits unclaimed at Atlantic Lottery, not due to the luck of the game but because of a glitch in the system.

“The amount’s not that huge, but to any person out there that missed out on their winnings, it’s a big deal to people,” said business professor Ed McHugh.

Atlantic Lottery refused to do an on-camera interview with CTV News on Friday and instead sent a statement.

Officials say that approximately 0.06 per cent of all tickets scanned on the mobile app between October 16th and January 25th got a “non-winner” message when that wasn’t the case.

“This was immediately corrected upon discovery,” said public relations strategist Lindsay Meekins in an email.

“Only draw tickets scanned using the mobile app were affected. All other ticket types scanned properly and all ticket scanners at retail locations functioned correctly.”

The only way ALC let players know was by posting on social media and with a pop-up message on their app.

“Absolutely there should have been more transparency,” said McHugh.

“In business there are what I call key success factors and one of their key success factors would be to be open, transparent and honest. So when something like this happens, this is a pretty important bullet in the history of the business.”

Hundreds of players have since commented on the Facebook post from last Friday evening with questions and concerns and ALC did respond to those comments.

The company says that players who were logged onto the app when they scanned will automatically see the prize money added to their account if they did actually win, but many people are pointing out that they weren’t logged in and they threw away their tickets after they were told it wasn’t a winner.

“We will continue to review lower prize levels to determine the extent of the impact and will award any unclaimed prizes that can be attached to a specific player,” said Meekins.

“Ensuring players receive the prizes they are entitled to is the most important thing Atlantic Lottery does and we always strive to share transparent and accurate information. We recognize this has resulted in a negative experience for our players. We are reviewing our processes to identify potential improvements and prevent similar occurrences in the future.”

McHugh says while this likely won’t have a huge impact on people playing the lottery in the future, it is important for the company to address this head on.

“You’ve got to find a way to reassure people,” he said.

“I think you’ve got to take the app offline right now and rebuild it and make sure that mistake that was in the programing is taken out and then put it back on and reassure people that it is now working 100 per cent after you’ve tested it, and tested it, and tested it.”

The largest amount affected by this glitch was $1,027, followed by two $1,000 prizes and one ticket worth $500. Atlantic Lottery says all four of those prizes have now been awarded to the rightful players.

Any players who have used the mobile ticket checker during the time period who have questions or concerns are encouraged to contact ALC at 1-877-252-3287. Top Stories

Stay Connected