Delaware Faces $5M Claim Over Keno Mayhem

NEW CASTLE, Del. (CN) – Taking the Grinches at the Delaware Lottery to court, a man wants the state to honor the five jackpot tickets he won, worth $1 million each, before Christmas 2015.

The complaint in Delaware Superior Court says Victor Rodriguez bought the tickets playing Keno on Dec. 17, 2015, at an authorized retailer in New Castle County.

Demanding $5 million, Rodriguez says the state refused to honor his “valid, winning tickets.”

But a statement by the Delaware Lottery from December 2015 reveals that Rodriguez bought his ticket on the day a “computer malfunction occurred in the Lottery’s Keno game.”

“The primary Random Number Generator (RNG) for Keno stopped processing randomly generated new numbers, and instead began re-transmitting the same numbers from a prior drawing,” the statement says. “The malfunction was promptly addressed and resulted in five re-transmissions over a period of approximately twenty minutes before the malfunction was corrected.  The Lottery then instructed its systems vendor, Scientific Games, to take the primary Keno RNG off-line and put into service the back-up Keno RNG, which was successfully accomplished.”

An initial review by lottery authorities, according to the statement, “has revealed that a few players, at an isolated number of locations, recognized the re-transmission of the duplicate numbers, and attempted to take advantage of the malfunction by playing those duplicated numbers.”

The lottery noted that it had suspended “redemption transactions relating to the five re-transmissions” pending completion of its review.

Vernon Kirk, who serves as director of the lottery, has not returned a request for comment.

Rodriguez names Kirk as a defendant along with the lottery and the state.

William O’Day Jr., an attorney for Rodriguez, is with Woloshin, Lynch & Natalie in Wilmington.

O’Day, who also did not return a request for comment, brought a separate lawsuit on Nov. 8 on behalf of two other lotto winners, John Brookings Jr. and Richard Spence.

The complaint says Delaware’s failure to honor winning Keno tickets is “wrongful and in violation of Delaware state law and rules and regulations governing lottery games.”

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