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It's not my custom to forward items from the RISKs Digest, but this one just
struck me as sufficiently remarkable.
Oregon Lottery officials thought it was a joke when someone called to say
The Columbian had published the winning Pick 4 lotto numbers a few hours
before they were drawn. When they learned the caller was right, they
dispatched Lloyd W. Beil, a detective with the Oregon State Police gaming
enforcement section. "Game security is our most valuable commodity," said
David Hooper, an Oregon Lottery spokesman. As it turned out, the
newspaper's computer system in this city across the Columbia River from
Portland, Ore., crashed Wednesday. In the scramble to re-create a lost
page, a copy editor mistakenly pulled the winning Pick 4 numbers from
Virginia and billed them as the Tuesday night's winning pick in Oregon.
Those same winning numbers, 6-8-5-5, were also drawn later Wednesday evening
"We can laugh about it now," Hooper said, "because there's nothing wrong with
our system." The odds of hitting the Pick 4 are 10,000 to 1. And the odds of
pulling the Virginia lottery numbers by mistake and having those
numbers drawn in Oregon the next day? "A gazillion to one," Hooper said.
[ Those interested in the RISKs Digest, a forum on risks to the public in
computers and related systems, check out newsgroup: comp.risks ]
"Do you hear the people sing, Lost in the valley of the night?
It is the music of a people, Who are climbing to the light.
For the wretched of the earth, There is a flame that never dies.
Even the darkest night will end, And the sun will rise." -- Les Miserables