ATLANTA - After a day of frustrations, lottery players are back in business as Georgians grab up tickets for a record-breaking Powerball jackpot.
Channel 2's Ashley Swann spoke with several retailers and players Sunday night who said by 8 p.m, their machines were back up and running normally. State lottery officials told Swann that heavy sales could be to blame for the earlier reported problems.
Darrell Webb was one of many relieved Powerball players thrilled to have his tickets for Wednesday's record-breaking jackpot in hand.
“I tried to play earlier and I was unable to play; however, they've got it together,” Webb told Swann. “No issues at all. The machine was very fast and that's what I like."
Throughout the day Sunday, viewers called the Channel 2 newsroom to complain about downed machines. Several lottery retailers we spoke with confirmed machines were not working properly.
“Apparently there's problems with the machines all around the town,” said Richard Hay. He was one customer who ran into problems at the QT on Sidney Marcus Boulevard in Northeast Atlanta.
“They're just running very, very slow,” Hay said.
“I've seen a lot of people walk out,” another customer reported.
Lottery officials told Channel 2 late Sunday afternoon they were not aware of any performance problems with their machines, but that heavy sales could have caused some issues. Regardless, by late Sunday, players at the QT and at other retailers Swann contacted were back in business and ready to try their luck at the $425 million record-breaking prize.
“I just gave $2 and I got my ticket. I hope the winning ticket,” said Londyn De Richelieu
"I figure my chance is just as good as anybody else,” said Webb. “If you don't play, you can't win.”
Lottery officials also said that a soft start to online ticket sales is now in the works. Users can register through the Players Club at mygalottery.com. Officials said that feature is not related to any of the machine issues that were reported.
Wednesday night's Powerball drawing will be held on WSB-TV before Channel 2 Action News Nightbeat at 11 p.m.