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Man misses lotto jackpot by a whisker

Mon, Mar 25, 11:16am by Staff Writer

An Australian man has been dealt a cruel blow, as his share of a US$50 million Mega Millions lottery wasn’t to be, after a time zone glitch.

The man, known only as Mr G, lodged a gambling dispute against online bookmaker Lottoland Australia after the Northern Territory-based company refused to pay up, the ABC reports.

The man said he lawfully entered the draw with Lottoland before the advertised cut-off time.

The draw had already taken place 27 minutes before, with Lottoland displaying the wrong draw time due to an incorrect time zone conversion.

“The complainant claims he lawfully entered the draw with Lottoland before the advertised cut-off time and successfully nominated all numbers in the US lottery draw entitling him to a share of US$50 million,” the NT Racing Commission said in a decision on the matter last Thursday.

Mr G placed his bet at 11:27am AWST on October 14, 2017, which he said was prior to Lottoland’s “advertised” draw time of 12 noon (AWST).

“Unknown to the complainant when he placed the bet, Draw 2129 had already been draw,” the report stated.

The incorrect draw time appeared on the website because of a wrong conversion from US time to Australian time.

Terms and conditions in Lottoland’s favour

Lottoland told the commission that the error of time was irrelevant, because its terms and conditions state that bets will not be accepted after the start of a draw “irrespective of any automatic confirmation, that may be generated via email or the website, or irrespective of a wrong deadline displayed on the website.”

Because the draw had already taken place, Lottoland said it automatically transferred Mr G’s bet to the next available lottery draw, which turned out to be an unsuccessful bet.

Lottoland said it enforced a one-hour cut-off before the Mega Millions lottery draw, meaning Mr G’s bet was in fact one hour and 27 minutes too late.

Mr G told the commission he was not aware of Lottoland’s exact cut-off time but his partner, Ms T, was “fully aware that there was a cut-off time and was ‘surprised’ the website ‘accepted his money’ as the bet was placed after the cut-off time,” the commission noted in its report.

Lottoland insisted a pop-up message would have appeared on Mr G’s computer screen to advise him his bet had been moved to a different draw because of his late entry.

Mr G said he was given no such advice, but an investigation by Licensing Northern Territory found pop up windows do appear if bets are placed after the deadline.

The commission ultimately found in favour of Lottoland because “the terms and conditions must prevail in this situation.”

“In such circumstances, the complainant is not entitled to claim any winnings or receive a payout,” the commission said.

A Lottoland Australia spokesperson provided a statement to the ABC saying, “this individual accepted under oath in the witness box that his bet was placed in a different draw to the US Mega Millions lottery draw in question.”

“The Northern Territory Racing Commission held the view that this individual was notified of the cut-off period by our automatic pop-up windows.

“He was also provided with exact details of his actual bet via email within 60 seconds of completing the transaction,” Lottoland said.

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