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Lottery dumps WGN for digital drawings

Tuesday, Sep 29, 2015

* Just don’t asked to be paid if you win

There won’t be any more ping pong balls flying up tubes to pick daily winners in the Illinois Lottery, which goes to an all-digital format later this week.

Starting Thursday, Pick 3, Pick 4, Lotto and Lucky Day Lotto will go to the all-digital format, and that means the daily drawings will no longer be aired live on WGN-TV, Illinois Lottery officials have announced. Instead, winners will posted at […]

The new digital draw system uses a random number generator (RNG) to pick numbers, the lottery said. A similar system has long been used for raffle games; the My 3 and Hit or Miss games; and at retail terminals when players use the Quick Pick option instead of picking their own numbers.

About half of all state lotteries nationwide use digital draw systems, according to the lottery.

This being Illinois, I’m wondering if Lottery players will trust the digital draw mode.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Chicago Cynic - Tuesday, Sep 29, 15 @ 12:54 pm:

    No more ping pong balls??? Oh no (says the guy who hasn’t watched a drawing in probably ten years).

  2. - Robert the Bruce - Tuesday, Sep 29, 15 @ 12:57 pm:

    Wonderful timing. Secretary of State White mentioned a few days ago that IT security folks might stop protecting state computer systems from hackers.

  3. - Commonsense in Illinois - Tuesday, Sep 29, 15 @ 1:02 pm:

    We don’t want no digits nobody sent…

  4. - Stones - Tuesday, Sep 29, 15 @ 1:02 pm:

    Why bother with the lotto as long as the big winners aren’t being paid anyway? The state may want to consider putting Keno in bars and restaurants. It seems to generate quite a bit of money for the State of Michigan.

  5. - Mouthy - Tuesday, Sep 29, 15 @ 1:07 pm:

    Might get a little suspicious if I see tip sheets for sale before the picks..

  6. - Red Ranger - Tuesday, Sep 29, 15 @ 1:08 pm:

    I wonder if the Random Number Generator and the Random Name Generator are made by the same company?

  7. - A Jack - Tuesday, Sep 29, 15 @ 1:13 pm:

    I certainly wouldn’t trust a computerized ‘random number generator’ coming on the heals of the lottery losing money. It would be too easy for an unscrupulous vendor to input all the number combinations sold and tell the generator to ignore those combinations or at least weight the generator against those combinations.

  8. - Tone - Tuesday, Sep 29, 15 @ 1:14 pm:

    Lottery players in general aren’t the brightest, so this likely won’t have much impact.

  9. - Sam Weinberg - Tuesday, Sep 29, 15 @ 1:14 pm:

    Whither Linday Kollmeyer?

    Does this mean I only have a few more days to be bizarrely transfixed by her?

  10. - Blue dog dem - Tuesday, Sep 29, 15 @ 1:14 pm:

    Please send used ping pong balls to the World Shooting Complex so that bored DNR employees can play beer pong.

  11. - 47th Ward - Tuesday, Sep 29, 15 @ 1:15 pm:

    But what’s going to happen to Linda Kollmayer?

  12. - Sam Weinberg - Tuesday, Sep 29, 15 @ 1:15 pm:

    … that’s LINDA Kollmeyer.

    Mea Culpa.

  13. - Tone - Tuesday, Sep 29, 15 @ 1:15 pm:

    The lottery isn’t losing money, it made less than last year. But is still brought in hundreds of millions. I thank those lotto players every day.

  14. - 47th Ward - Tuesday, Sep 29, 15 @ 1:16 pm:

    Sam beat to it, but yeah, watching Linda is always the best part of the drawing as far as I’m concerned.

  15. - Mama - Tuesday, Sep 29, 15 @ 1:17 pm:

    ++- Robert the Bruce - Tuesday, Sep 29, 15 @ 12:57 pm:++
    Are you kidding me?

  16. - Mama - Tuesday, Sep 29, 15 @ 1:24 pm:

    “This being Illinois, I’m wondering if Lottery players will trust the digital draw mode.”
    My guess is people will trust it about as much as they trust the electronic voting machines. Who cares since there is no money for the big winners.

  17. - A guy - Tuesday, Sep 29, 15 @ 1:29 pm:

    Time for a Lotto Ball Raffle.

  18. - Taxpayer - Tuesday, Sep 29, 15 @ 1:30 pm:

    This should interesting. A numer of the people I know who are avid lotto players don’t seem like the type of people who can or will run to the internet to see a computer generated drawing.

  19. - DuPage - Tuesday, Sep 29, 15 @ 1:38 pm:

    With the ping-pong balls and lots of witnesses, there was assurance the game was honest. The electronic number generator in a back room somewhere in itself does not instill confidence in the integrity of the game. It makes it look like they want to be able to hide something. Add to that it is being run by an outside contractor, who knows if they rig it so one of their friends win. So much for transparency in Illinois government.

  20. - Streator Curmudgeon - Tuesday, Sep 29, 15 @ 1:39 pm:

    Finally! Now that the exorbitant expense of using ping pong balls will be eliminated, the Illinois Lottery will fully fund education, as promised.


  21. - Huh? - Tuesday, Sep 29, 15 @ 1:42 pm:

    Don’t play those games, they are small jackpot State of Illinois games, not the big multi-state games.

  22. - A Jack - Tuesday, Sep 29, 15 @ 1:46 pm:

    According to a Chicago Crain’s article from September 18th the lottery did lose money last year. I, of course, cannot verify their sources. Now a week later we have this major change in the drawing method. It may be perfectly fine, but the timing is rather odd.

  23. - OneMan - Tuesday, Sep 29, 15 @ 1:48 pm:

    Ah a random number generator.

    Actually creating a true random number generator is a real computing challenge. Weaknesses in random number generator and there have been security issues in the past.

    But considering the relative frequency of drawings the risk is rather low.

    and even the balls can have issues

    They could just go buy a book..

    My guess is they are not using the book.

  24. - Cheswick - Tuesday, Sep 29, 15 @ 1:53 pm:

    This from July:

    DES MOINES — Soon after an Iowa jury returned a guilty verdict Monday in what may be the nation’s first prosecution for rigging a computerized lottery drawing, the CEO of the Iowa Lottery expressed confidence that its games are secure and fair.

    Maybe Bruce can hire that guy to do the random number generator?

  25. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Sep 29, 15 @ 1:53 pm:

    I never did trust Madigan and the ping pong balls he controls.

  26. - Politix - Tuesday, Sep 29, 15 @ 1:55 pm:

    “Does this mean I only have a few more days to be bizarrely transfixed by her?”

    This is funny. I can’t pull my eyes away either! There’s definitely something about her.

  27. - sal-says - Tuesday, Sep 29, 15 @ 2:12 pm:

    Exactly. Just decided to quit throwing money at this. Maybe ya can fix the balls, but I could see it.

    Computers? I know something about them; too easy to cheat; too easy to get away with it for a while; too easy these days to get hacked. Sure, I’ll trust them, about as much as The Governot.

  28. - Jack Stephens - Tuesday, Sep 29, 15 @ 2:31 pm:

    Is the Random Number Generator union?

  29. - Henry Moon - Tuesday, Sep 29, 15 @ 3:08 pm:

    Actually, it was reported last year that WGN dumped the lottery by changing formats.

  30. - Really? - Tuesday, Sep 29, 15 @ 3:16 pm:

    In Motha Illinois, you do not play lottery, lottery plays you.

  31. - Arthur Andersen - Tuesday, Sep 29, 15 @ 3:24 pm:

    Will the accounting firm of Dewey, Cheatham, and Howe audit the random numbers every night?

  32. - James Knell - Tuesday, Sep 29, 15 @ 3:32 pm:

    Good… we can use the ping pong balls to pick the next Governor.

  33. - @MisterJayEm - Tuesday, Sep 29, 15 @ 3:38 pm:

    The end of an era. (Maybe I can get Linda Kollmeyer to pick my fantasy football team…)

    – MrJM

  34. - Stones - Tuesday, Sep 29, 15 @ 3:53 pm:

    Agree with the comments about Linda Kollmeyer. Probably one of the few people in the world that can make ping pong balls in a plastic bubble seem worth watching.

  35. - Tommydanger - Tuesday, Sep 29, 15 @ 3:53 pm:

    Watching Linda Kollmeyer was appointment TV.

    Just to prove I had no ESP, the numbers I would say out loud as they ‘popped up’ the tube were never right!

  36. - illini - Tuesday, Sep 29, 15 @ 4:20 pm:

    Damn - so that winning $1 Quick Pick that I bought today will not be televised. Oh well, if I do win the State can not afford to pay me anyway!

  37. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Sep 29, 15 @ 4:22 pm:

    Somehow, someway someone is figuring our how to hack that random number generator.

  38. - Swatty - Tuesday, Sep 29, 15 @ 4:31 pm:

    Random Number Generators, very hackable. Already been done in Arkansas Hot Lotto in 2011. Read about it at - Illinois, SO corrupt, it’s almost a moot point the new RNG system will be hacked sooner than later.

  39. - Pictures of Lily - Tuesday, Sep 29, 15 @ 5:11 pm:

    I do not gamble, but Linda was/is a hottie. Speaking of Channel 9, in 1974 Ray Rayner mentioned some family that named their dog “The Illinois State Lottery.” (Had a The then for some reason.) As this blog has said lately, “Only in Illinois.”

  40. - Juvenal - Tuesday, Sep 29, 15 @ 8:28 pm:

    Ditching the ping pong balls is a mistake.

  41. - West Side the Best Side - Tuesday, Sep 29, 15 @ 8:46 pm:

    No Linda-No Lotto

  42. - Lt. Guv. - Wednesday, Sep 30, 15 @ 3:39 pm:

    God Bless Zeke.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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