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Why was Powerball paused?

The Powerball lottery drawing was temporarily paused on Monday, November 7, 2022 due to a technical issue. Lottery officials say the issue was with the draw system and not with sales. The drawing was delayed from 10:59 p.m. ET to 8:57 a.m. ET on Tuesday, November 8th. This was the first time in Powerball’s 30-year history that a drawing has been delayed.

What caused the technical issue?

The Multi-State Lottery Association (MUSL) which operates the Powerball game issued a statement saying there was a technical issue in the draw process. They did not specify what exactly the issue was but said it was isolated to the Powerball drawing. The technical problem was with the drawing equipment itself and not with sales.

“Powerball has stringent security requirements to protect the integrity of the game. Some of the requirements include testing of the equipment, whole process audits, as well as independent witnesses overseeing the draw process,” the lottery said. Despite the technical glitch, lottery officials were confident the delayed drawing would be secure and random.

How did Powerball respond?

Once the issue was identified, the lottery took immediate action to resolve the situation. While troubleshooting was taking place, the draw was temporarily halted to make sure it met the game standards when it was performed. “The integrity of the game is our top priority,” said Powerball Product Group Chair and Missouri Lottery Executive Director May Scheve Reardon.

Powerball announced on Monday night that the draw was postponed until Tuesday morning while they worked through the issue. On Tuesday morning, the drawing was held in secret and the results were posted online. The winning numbers were: 10, 33, 41, 47 and 56. The Powerball number was 10.

Drawing oversight

Powerball drawings are overseen by both internal and external auditors. The drawing equipment is tested extensively before every draw. Independent auditors observe every draw to ensure proper protocols are followed. Even with the delay, lottery officials followed the strict procedures to ensure a fair and random draw.

Winning tickets

All tickets that were purchased for the Monday, November 7 drawing were valid for the delayed drawing on Tuesday morning. Players did not need to take any action for their tickets to remain eligible. Any Powerball tickets purchased for Monday’s draw were valid for the rescheduled drawing.

When was the last Powerball drawing delay?

This was the first time in Powerball’s 30-year history that a drawing needed to be postponed. Since the game began in 1992, the lottery has successfully held over 1,400 drawings without incident. Powerball currently holds drawings 3 times a week, on Monday, Wednesday and Saturday nights.

According to lottery officials, the brief pause was “a very rare occurrence.” Over the decades, lottery drawings for various games have encountered minor technical issues that were quickly resolved without delaying a draw. This was the first major glitch to significantly disrupt the Powerball drawing.

How common are lottery drawing issues?

While major drawing delays like the Powerball postponement are extremely rare, minor technical glitches do pop up occasionally. With hundreds of state lottery drawings happening across the US every week, the likelihood of a small issue coming up is not negligible.

Most minor problems get addressed immediately without any major impact. Redundant systems and strict protocols allow drawings to continue even if a small problem arises. But major failures that could compromise game integrity require postponing the draw until everything can be fixed and verified.

Year Lottery Issue
2022 Powerball Technical issue with draw equipment caused a nearly 24 hour drawing delay
2021 Mega Millions Ink in drum dried causing minor issue that was quickly resolved
2015 Hot Lotto Ball became lodged in drum but was dislodged quickly
2007 Colorado Lotto One ball stuck to drum wall but was knocked loose

Have lottery drawings ever been rigged?

While extremely rare, some lottery drawings have been rigged or fixed in the past. These instances are few and far between, but demonstrate that tampering is possible if oversight and security are lacking.

1980 Pennsylvania Lottery scandal

One of the biggest lottery scandals involved the Pennsylvania Lottery in 1980. The hosts of the TV broadcast, Nick Perry and Al Levine, secretly weighed down ping pong balls to manipulate the numbers drawn. They were able to ensure certain balls were picked, winning them over $1.8 million in illegitimate prizes.

Hot Lotto fraud scandal

In 2015, a fraud scheme involving the Hot Lotto game was uncovered. Former Multi-State Lottery Association security director Eddie Tipton manipulated the random number generator to win a $14.3 million jackpot. The scheme involved hand-picking the winning numbers and tampering with the live ball drawing equipment.

Mega Millions lack of oversight

A 2018 report found that the Mega Millions and Powerball games lacked proper oversight procedures to prevent tampering. While no specific fraud was uncovered, the audit found security gaps that created opportunities for manipulation or fixing of the randomized drawings.

These cases show that rigorous security protocols and auditing are critical to upholding fairness and integrity in lottery drawings. Any compromises in oversight can allow room for cheating or rigging to occur.

What protocols protect lottery drawings?

Lotteries use extensive measures to keep drawings secure from tampering and manipulation. These safeguards help ensure fair randomness that is not rigged or pre-determined.

Testing and certification of equipment

All draw equipment is thoroughly tested before each use to check for issues. Independent labs certify that the machines are functioning properly and selecting balls randomly. Any problems are addressed before drawings proceed.

Background checks on personnel

Employees involved in lottery drawings undergo extensive background checks and training. Video surveillance monitors all staff actions during drawings to spot any potential misconduct.

Independent auditors observe draws

In addition to internal staff, outside auditors attend every lottery drawing. Their sole purpose is to watch the process closely for any sign of impropriety.

Detailed draw procedures

Strict protocols are followed during each lottery draw detailing each step and action. Deviations from the procedures are prohibited in order to prevent manipulation.

Redundant drawing systems

Backup drawing machines and ball sets are available in case of equipment problems. This redundancy allows draws to continue fairly even if technical issues arise.

Can lottery drawings be rigged or hacked?

While extremely difficult, there are ways crafty criminals could attempt to rig, hack or cheat at lottery drawings:

Insider fraud

Drawings are vulnerable to rigging by corrupt insiders like employees or auditors who have access to the equipment. Proper oversight is the best defense against internal fraud.

Weak randomization algorithms

Random number generators that are poorly programmed could allow manipulation by hackers. Lotteries use sophisticated systems that are certified for randomness.

Manipulation of physical drawings

The physical drawing equipment could theoretically be tampered with in order to cheat. Meticulous protocols help prevent this by ensuring proper working order.

Quick pick fraud

Some POS systems allow retailers to cheat quick pick customers by checking for winning tickets and only issuing losers. Centralized systems lower this risk.

While cheating is hypothetically possible, the extensive security protocols make it extremely improbable in practice. But constant vigilance is needed to identify any weaknesses that could compromise integrity.

Could the delayed Powerball drawing have been rigged?

Lottery officials insist that even with the nearly 24 hour delay, the Powerball drawing remained secure and random. The strict protocols protected the integrity of the game throughout the process. However, some question if the pause allowed an opportunity for tampering.

Why some are concerned

Once the balls were selected, there was no visual broadcast of the draw. The results sat for nearly a full day before being revealed. Some fear that during this window, the results could have been swapped out without the public’s knowledge.

What officials say

Lottery officials explain that the drawn balls never left secured rooms monitored by cameras. They say no single individual had access to the balls before the results were posted. All procedures were followed to certify the results were fairly generated.

An external audit of the draw process will be conducted to provide additional assurance. But the lottery firmly denies any possibility of tampering during the delay period.

How can lottery oversight be improved?

The delayed Powerball drawing has fueled calls for even tighter lottery oversight. Here are some ways security experts recommend enhancing safeguards and protocols:

Increased use of automated systems

Automated ball blowers, readers and randomization systems reduce some human control that could allow manipulation.

Frequent equipment testing

More rigorous pre- and post-testing after transport or repairs could help detect tampering with drawing machines.

Expanded camera coverage

Increasing video surveillance of draw rooms eliminates blind spots where improper actions could go undetected.

Mandatory post-draw audits

A requirement for external auditing firms to examine drawing integrity after every draw or delay situation.

Detailed draw reports

Additional documentation submitted by all lottery personnel involved in the draw detailing each and every action taken.

While the delayed Powerball drawing exposed some oversight gaps, implementing solutions can help restore public confidence in game security.

Could the lottery cancel the drawing altogether?

With the drawing delayed nearly a full day, some question why Powerball didn’t just cancel the drawing altogether. However, a complete cancellation creates other issues.

Winning tickets may have been sold

If winning tickets were sold prior to the drawing, those players rightfully deserve their prizes. A drawing needs to take place to identify them.

Rollover increases next jackpot

No draw means the jackpot can’t roll over and continue growing to create excitement.

State procedures may require a draw

Individual state lottery rules likely do not authorize cancelling a draw entirely once sales have begun.

Public trust damaged

Faith in the game’s integrity could be shaken if a drawing is abandoned altogether over tech issues.

While inconvenient, proceeding with the delayed drawing was likely the most fair and transparent option. Outright cancellation may have caused more trouble.


The delayed Powerball drawing served as a high-profile reminder that even lottery games are vulnerable to technical flaws or human error. While unprecedented for Powerball, such glitches have impacted various lotteries occasionally over the decades. But multiple layers of stringent protocols remain effective at upholding draw integrity and fairness.

Ensuring public confidence requires constant vigilance and transparency from lottery officials. Any perceived loss of control over randomness risks permanently tarnishing a game’s reputation. Limiting such incidents relies on continuously strengthening and enhancing security measures through best practices and technology.

With interest in lottery games booming nationwide, both the public and lotteries themselves have much at stake. Every incident exposes areas for potential improvement. Although the delayed draw created short-term uncertainty, hopefully the experience will produce lasting benefits by identifying ways to uphold values of security and integrity upon which lotteries rely.