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Iowa Lottery Mistakenly Posts Wrong Numbers — But 'Winners' Who Already Cashed in Can Keep Money!

The lottery commission later corrected the error, blaming it on "redundant reporting procedures" that had "failed after the drawing"

<p>Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency via Getty</p>

Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency via Getty

Lottery officials in Iowa posted the wrong Powerball numbers for Monday night's drawing — making losers winners, if only for a brief moment in time.

Iowa Lottery representatives said in a statement on Wednesday that “redundant reporting procedures failed after the drawing.”

"As part of the Iowa Lottery’s procedures, two different people in two different locations both enter the results from lotto drawings before they are officially recorded on the lottery’s statewide gaming system," officials explained. "But when the winning numbers from Monday’s Powerball drawing were being inputted, some of the numbers were mistakenly entered incorrectly."

“It takes time to correct an error like that on the lottery’s statewide gaming system, which links all the lottery terminals and self-service kiosks in the state,” officials noted. “Lottery staff were able to complete the corrections by yesterday [Tuesday] afternoon.”

Related: Man Wins $25K for Life Lottery Prize After Clerk's Printing Mistake: 'It Was an Amazing Feeling!'

But the “winners” who thought they hit the jackpot on the initial numbers were able to cash in their tickets over a period of nearly seven hours, from about 12:30 a.m. to 7:15 a.m. on Tuesday, the Associated Press reported.

Those prizes ranged from $4 to $200, lottery officials told the AP, with the news agency reporting that anybody who cashed in their “winning” ticket during that time will be able to keep the money.

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After noticing the error, officials "suspended the results for the Powerball drawing on lottery terminals" until the lottery was able to rectify the error on Tuesday afternoon, when it posted the correct numbers.

Lottery records showed that a total of 3,998 in Powerball plays purchased in Iowa ultimately won prizes ranging from $4 up to $200 for a total of $24,382 in winnings.

Related: Florida Man Goes Out for a Sandwich, Comes Home with a $5 Million Lottery Ticket

“We at the Iowa Lottery sincerely apologize for the interruption,“ lottery officials said in the news release. “Lottery staffers will continue to review drawing procedures with an eye toward improvements in the future.”

The real winning numbers were 2-21-38-61-66 and Powerball 12, with the Powerball jackpot estimated to be $355 million.

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