Powerball drawing delay was caused by problems in Minnesota

A collection of lottery tickets
Tickets for a Powerball lottery drawing are seen on Monday in Washington.
Tasos Katopodis | Getty Images

A nearly 10-hour delay in drawing numbers for a record Powerball jackpot was caused by issues with the Minnesota Lottery sales system.

Minnesota Lottery spokesperson Marie Hinton declined to provide details, but in a statement Tuesday said “unprecedented lottery interest” caused a processing delay in the Minnesota lottery sales verification system.

That prompted a delay of the nationwide drawing usually held on Monday nights.

“The delay was necessary to confirm the Powerball drawing could be conducted securely and accurately,” Hinton said in a statement. “At no time was the integrity of the process compromised.”

Hinton said no additional information would be released until a thorough review of the incident is completed.

The record-setting Powerball jackpot was reported to be just over $2 billion when numbers were finally drawn Tuesday morning.

MPR News is Reader Funded

Before you keep reading, take a moment to donate to MPR News. Your financial support ensures that factual and trusted news and context remain accessible to all.

The numbers for the drawing were white balls 10, 33, 41, 47 and 56, and the red Powerball 10.

The Associated Press reported a single ticket in California won the jackpot.

Minnesota is one of 48 lotteries that participate in Powerball sales.

Terry Rich, a former director of the Iowa Lottery who also served on the Powerball board, told the Associated Press the delay was likely due to a two-part verification system of ticket sales that makes use of an outside vendor to ensure all is in order before the game’s numbers are drawn.

“Each state must verify through a dual process that all of the sales and dollars match before the Multi-State Lottery Association can do the draw,” said Rich, who headed the Iowa Lottery for 10 years and was president of the North American Lottery Association. “This is a state-by-state procedure, which separates the whole process and has been very effective.”

Rich said state lotteries deal with similar problems several times a year but the delays usually don’t attract much attention because the potential jackpots are far less than what was up for grabs this week.

The odds of winning the Powerball jackpot are 1 in 292.2 million.