Tennessee lottery players spent $2 million on lottery tickets that couldn't win

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- A new audit concludes that lottery players bought more than $2 million in Tennessee lottery tickets last summer that had no chance of winning because of a computer programming error.

On July 28, the Lottery switched from numbered balls to a computer program to generate winning numbers for its Cash 3 and Cash 4 drawings.

But an undetected programming error would not allow duplicate numbers to be drawn, so players with ticket numbers like 3-3-3 had no chance of winning.

The state comptroller's office released an audit on Tuesday that concludes the problem was an accident and not an attempt by any company or individual to cheat the system.

However, the audit faults state Lottery officials for not responding to the problem sooner. The error was not fixed until after the midday draw on Aug. 20.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)