JEFFERSON CITY – The Missouri Lottery’s new online app is giving some users a headache.
Following a recent update, on October 3rd the lottery’s mobile app was showing out-of-order numbers for Powerball, Mega Millions and the Cash4Life game.
Lottery spokeswoman Wendy Baker acknowledged the mistake and said the agency is working with its politically-affiliated provider to fix the issues.
“The listing, which was fixed the next morning, did not affect players’ ability to use the app’s scanning feature to determine if a ticket was a winner, nor did it affect Check-A-Ticket machines or terminals in the game retail,” Baker said.
The updated app is a product of Scientific Games International, a major provider of lotteries around the world.
In Missouri, the Las Vegas-based company has a deal with the lottery, valued at an estimated $11 million a year. They are represented in the state government by lobbyist Andy Blunt, son of US Senator Roy Blunt.
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“We actively worked with them to resolve app and rewards concerns that arose after our migration to an updated platform,” Baker said.
Sandra Lewis, a Rolla lottery player, said she noticed the problems last month. When incorrect lottery numbers started appearing on the app on Monday, she notified lottery officials, who she said were working to fix the problem.
However, she said her experience with the app makes her think twice about continuing to play.
“It’s just not right. You need to get it fixed,” said Lewis, a retired software engineer.
Other users have expressed their anger at the switch to reviews in the Google App Store.
“I’ll probably stop buying as much as I do if I can’t even navigate the app,” said one user.
Missouri isn’t the only one struggling with online disruptions.
In July, the Pennsylvania Lottery website crashed during a $1.2 billion Mega Millions game draw.
In the UK, Camelot, a private company that operates the national lottery, was fined for three bugs in its mobile app, affecting tens of thousands of players.
The lottery itself is experiencing changes in its top management. Former director May Scheve Reardon left the company in July after 13 years at the helm. The commission overseeing the agency is currently interviewing potential successors, possibly including Rep. Shamed Dogan, R-Ballwin.
Baker downplayed the software issues on Wednesday.
“Although there are growing problems associated with the new look and navigation, there have been no changes to the way the program itself is administered,” she said.