Loto-Québec has not been able to sell a single lottery ticket since Sunday and hopes things will return to normal on Thursday thanks to the return of IT staff after a few days of strikes.
The state-owned company has been going through a perfect storm since the weekend, fueled by a strike by its professional staff, a computer problem and the Lotto 6/49 format change, the Loto President and CEO summarized on Wednesday. Quebec, Jean-François Bergeron.
On Saturday night, an update to the Quebec Loto system failed, causing the vending terminals to become paralyzed, preventing Quebecers from purchasing or validating draw tickets. .
“This is the first time in 50 years that we have not been able to recover from a processing error,” Mr Bergeron said in an interview with LCN.
Normally, Loto-Québec employees could have contained the damage. However, the computer scientists went on strike together with the other experts from the state-owned company and thus prevented the solution to the technical problem. After signing a tentative agreement on Tuesday, unionized workers finally returned to work on Wednesday.
Loto-Québec estimates that its customers buy $2 million worth of draw tickets a day, an amount that will not be lost entirely, believes Jean-François Bergeron, who is having trouble estimating Loto-Québec’s losses.
“There are several behaviors. There are people who will play online, including scratch cards. We’ll see when we close the accounts. There may also be people who are going to buy two shares,” said the President and CEO.
Lotto 6/49 draws, for their part, can resume next Wednesday with the new lottery format.
Loto-Québec had decided to postpone the launch of the new formula, the first drawing of which will take place this Wednesday, due to the strike of its skilled workers.
Other draws for certain Quebec lotteries that could not take place due to technical problems, such as La Mini, Banco or Québec 49, will also resume in the coming days.
“There is no problem for the draws, we will do them. There are no concerns about integrity. Keep your tickets,” cried Jean-François Bergeron.