Even multi-million-dollar lotteries running for almost 30 years can get the Monday blues, apparently. Louisianans and others unexpectedly waited an extra hour for the first Monday night Powerball drawing on Aug. 23.
The delay caused results to go uncertified until early Wednesday morning, leaving winners unable to cash in their tickets at retailers until Powerball gave the go-ahead Wednesday afternoon.
The debut — and delay — of Monday night Powerball
Louisianans who had purchased tickets for the first Monday night Powerball drawing were likely waiting, tickets in hands, at 9:59 p.m. Central Daylight Time on Aug. 23.
The jackpot in question that night was worth $293 million, with a cash option of $214.2 million. Exciting, yes – but then nothing happened.
For a while.
Just before 11 p.m. CDT, the ping pong balls finally plopped. (The Double Play drawing happened at 12:21 EDT.) The delay was first attributed to “technical difficulties.” Powerball ultimately revealed that several lotteries needed extra time to complete the required security protocols.
Powerball requires that all 48 lotteries involved must observe those strict protocols before and after each drawing to produce official results. (Powerball participants include 45 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.)
It’s not the first delay in Powerball history — or even this year. On Wednesday, June 9, 2021, one jurisdiction needed additional processing time. This resulting in delayed payments.
Then on June 29, the Louisiana Lottery announced it was temporarily unable to process claims over $600 due to a system outage.
Winning ticketholders waited to redeem prizes
The delay meant that some winning tickets were not immediately cashable. Powerball asked ticketholders to hold onto them, suggesting players sign the backs of winning tickets and store them securely until they informed retailers to go ahead and pay any winnings. They gave the all-clear midday Wednesday.
On Aug. 25, Powerball provided an update on the situation:
“The draw results for the August 23 Powerball drawing and Double Play drawing have been finalized, and the estimated jackpot for the Wednesday, Aug. 25 drawing has posted to Powerball.com. Retailers may begin paying claims on winning tickets from the August 23 drawings. Thank you to our players for their patience. We apologize for the reporting delay.”
While waiting for the official drawing results from Aug. 23 to become available, lottery officials couldn’t calculate the next estimated jackpot. Wednesday’s jackpot was estimated at $304 million with a $222.2 million cash option after the delay.
There was no winner of the Monday night jackpot, but a ticket purchased in North Carolina matched the five white-ball numbers drawn, making the holder eligible to claim $1 million. If the Power Play option had been taken, winnings would have increased to $2 million.
Powerball goes to 3 nights
Louisiana just added Monday nights to its previous Wednesdays-and-Saturdays lineup of Powerball drawings. With this addition, faster-growing jackpots and more annual jackpot winnings are expected. However, the odds of winning stay the same. According to Powerball.com, the odds of winning the jackpot are 1 in 292.2 million.
On Monday, August 23, 2021, the numbers drawn were 17 36 47 60 61 with a Powerball of 15 and the Powerplay of x3.
To win the Powerball lottery jackpot, you must match all five white-ball numbers in any order, as well as the red Powerball number.