11 News looks into issues with Powerball tickets, drawing

PITTSBURGH — Multiple people contacted Channel 11 to find out why they were having difficulties or couldn’t buy a Powerball ticket online hours before the drawing was supposed to take place.

Channel 11 worked to get answers from the Pennsylvania Lottery after one man said he tried for more than five hours to get a ticket online.

“I wanted to be part of the American Dream, the dream of winning that Powerball, and having all that money in my hand. But they didn’t give me the opportunity to do that,” Eddie Peterson said.

Peterson lives in Murrysville and is bound to a wheelchair, meaning it’s difficult for him to go out to his nearest gas station to purchase a Powerball ticket.

Peterson typically uses the PA Lottery website, but with Tuesday’s $2 billion drawing, the website wasn’t working.

“I kept trying to log on, and it wouldn’t log me on. I kept getting these error messages,” Peterson said.

He tried to buy one for more than five hours and finally was able to buy one. But the website gave him a ticket for Wednesday’s drawing.

He finally got through to customer service Tuesday.

“They told me they had technical difficulties because of the amount of play that was going on, and that’s why a lot of people didn’t get to make the purchases,” Peterson said.

We went to Pittsburgh’s PA Lottery Office in the Northside and emailed a number of questions to figure out what happened and get answers for Peterson.

So far, we’ve learned that the drawing was delayed because one state was still processing its sales and data. A spokesperson told us that Pennsylvania was not the problem state.

As for the website issues, there was “tremendous amount of site traffic, and some players received error messages, or may have been able to unable to log in.”

“This is 2022, people have had computers for years. Big industries have computers. They had to know they were going to have a big volume of people,” Peterson said.

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