computer failure | Nothing is going right at Loto-Québec

You can no longer place your bets because nothing is going right at Loto-Québec, whose sales of its most popular products have been paralyzed since Sunday by a computer problem that robs the state-owned company of $2 million a day.

Posted at 5:25 p.m

Helen Barill

Helen Barill
The press

The problem occurred overnight from Saturday to Sunday, so the winners of the Lotto 6/49 drawing on Saturday could not yet have their tickets validated. Loto-Québec and its customers have also not been able to enter the other two draws of this popular Canada-wide lottery that have taken place since then, or the next.

We’ll have to wait until Wednesday, September 21 for 6/49 to restart, said state-owned company spokesman Renaud Dugas.

Loto-Québec’s computer system crashed overnight Saturday night, hours after an indefinite general strike by its 455 professional employees broke out.

Union members, many of whom are computer scientists and computer analysts, deny that they are responsible for the problem. “Employees were no longer able to access the computer system (when the problem arose),” said Guillaume Bouvrette, vice president of the Quebec government professional association, to which Loto-Quebec employees belong.

The computer problem has nothing to do with the conflict, assures the CEO of the state-owned company, Jean-François Bergeron. “It was pure coincidence, we don’t believe in sabotage,” he said in a radio interview.

However, due to the dispute, Loto-Québec chose to postpone the planned migration of its Lotto 6/49 to a new computer platform, which explains why this very popular product will not be coming back to the Quebec market until September 21st.

The striking employees returned to work on Tuesday after reaching a tentative agreement with their employer, which is due to be voted on in the coming days.

The state-owned company assumes that it will be able to resume selling its prints except for today (Wednesday) 6/49 after a lot of catching up to do in data processing. Draw lotteries like 6/49, Loto Max and La Grande Vie account for 70% of Loto-Québec’s lottery revenue, which surpassed $1 billion in 2021-2022.

Until activities resume, the Loto-Québec website is advising customers to keep their tickets and ensuring all prizes won are honored.

It is too early to quantify the financial losses for Loto-Québec and its retailers, which have been deprived of products for sale, other than scratch cards, the state body said.

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