Radio Report: N.Y. State Lotto subscriptions suspended and refunds sent out due to Y2K problem. : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

My husband was traveling to work today and listening to news on the radio, WCBS 880 on the dial. He called to tell me it was announced that millions of dollars of New York State Lotto subscription prices were being refunded and the yearly Lotto subscription service had been suspended indefinitely. It was expected that it would be months before the subscription service would again be available. This was stated to be because of Y2K software problems. My hubby was quite surprised to hear the admission as it was the first time he had actually heard of a problem which wasn't attributed to an "implementation" failure or just a computer problem.

Any other New Yorkers out there who heard this too?

-- Bonnie Camp (, April 05, 1999


Couldn't find a word about this on the NY State Lottery's home page.

-- Tom Carey (, April 06, 1999.

Well, I checked the ny lottery site, too. And not only is there no mention of a computer foul up - there is no mention of a "subscription service" either.

I surmise if they had a subscription service, they'd be sure to mention it on their web-site. Of course, I may be wrong.

So at this point, I'm pretty skeptical about this post. I suggest that nobody propagate this rumor until we have confirmation.

Jolly is *always* skeptical.

-- Jollyprez (, April 06, 1999.

Jolly, the NY lottery, in a fit of efficiency allows you to play one number or set thereof for any and or all future games by simply paying teh money and indicating which dates the set of numbers is for. Or at least they did for a number of years.


-- Chuck, a night driver (, April 06, 1999.

Yes Chuck,

the California lottery does that too. BUT can anyone confirm this post?


-- Jollyprez (, April 06, 1999.

We were annual subscribers to the NY State lottery. About 6 weeks ago we got a letter saying they were refunding the balance of our subscription because the format of the lotto was being changed. They were reducing the number of numbers to pick or something, and increasing the number of drawings per week or some such. ( I don't follow it; my partner does, but isn't here right now.) Anyway, no mention of Y2K. They said we would be getting a refund check in a few weeks, which we got. Also said they would notify us when "new" annual subscriptions were available with the new lotto format.

-- (, April 06, 1999.

A story in the Binghamtom, NY paper stated that the subscription service (Lotto by mail) was dropped when the lottery changed computer systems. The subscription service was inadvertantly left out of the software rollover. Y2K gets involved in finding the soonest possible chance for the state to get the software converted to the new lottery computers. The work for the subscription lottery will be done after all the state's Y2K work is finished.

Needless to say, it may be a VERY long time before two hundred thousand NY Lottery subscribers can play by mail again.


-- Wildweasel (, April 06, 1999.

Damn, I can't find anything on this at any of the news sites.

Jolly - If Bonnie Camp really posted this (can't be sure these days), I'll back her up 110%. Her reputation at euy2k in untouchable. <:)=

-- Sysman (, April 07, 1999.

Sysman, I really appreciate the vote of confidence, but I consider skepticism a healthy thing and don't have any problem with those who want confirmation of a report.

I'm continuing to watch our local paper for something on this, but I haven't found anything to date. I do know that the Lottery system is on New York State's list of its Top 40 Priority Systems and that as of 1/1999 work was still listed as "In-progress" for that system. (For those wondering why the Lottery made the top priority list, it's because it brings lots of $ into N.Y. State coffers.) Governor Pataki also announced on April 1st that "As of March 1999, New York State has completed 95-percent of the total effort required to bring its "mission critical" systems into Y2K compliance." For New York State, "effort" is measured in "person-years" and don't ask me how or why they came up with that measurement!

If we put together what we know from the various posts contributing to this thread, we come up with:

1. Six weeks ago a letter was received from the Lottery stating a refund of the balance of a subscription would be made. No mention of Y2K, only of a new Lotto format.

2. The Binghamton, N.Y. newspaper recently stated that the Lotto by mail subscription service was dropped when the Lottery changed computer systems because the subscription service was "inadvertantly" left out of the software rollover. The work for the subscription lottery will done after all the state's Y2K work is finished.

3. Since I personally trust my husband's report of the radio announcement, I'll add that it stated subscription refunds were being made, the service was suspended indefinitely and it was thought it would be months before it would become available again. It was also reported that this was due to a Y2K problem.

Putting the pieces we have together, there are at least two separate reports in confirmation for the Lotto subscription refunding, the suspension of the subscription service, and a period of time before it was expected to be reinstated. The State Priority list, compliance progress data and the Governor's statement are all to be found on the N.Y. State Y2K web site at:

So we are only left with the question of why this suspension and refund of the substantial money already pre-paid for this service occurred. Since a letter was received about six weeks ago about the refund, this would lead us to believe that N.Y. State was not taken off guard by any fiscal year failure after April 1. Yet the newspaper article also stated that this subscription system was inadvertantly left out of the new Lottery software rollover. "Inadvertantly" certainly means without deliberate intent and implies a mistake. Certainly the State didn't *want* to give up the money it had already received. Then we come to the radio news announcement stating this was a Y2K problem.

I personally can only conclude based on all the above, that the Y2K problem involved in this issue was lack of time to either remediate the subscription system and/or to successfully integrate the subscription service into the new Lottery software upgrade (or replacement system). So it is not a Y2K failure as in date or coding errors bringing the system down due to the April 1 fiscal rollover, but it is a Y2K failure in that the system is now unavailable for use when it was initially planned to have been available. Any other interpretations welcome, but that's how I see it.

-- Bonnie Camp (, April 07, 1999.

In short:

The remediation/replacement analysts forgot to include the subscription service in the RFP, and they don't have time for this particular MIZE-WELL, if they want to deliver the whole package in time to be functional.

Can you say "OOOPSIE"? Can you say hurried front end analysis??

Can we do any generalization fromn this data point? Probably not exactly, except to consider the possibility that this sort of analysis is probably representative of some of the other Y2K remediation projects around the country.

Chuck, a night driver who has made his living doing front end analysis and writing an occasional RFP, who HATES MIZE-WELLS (MIZE- WELL do THIS since we're in this module already. Usually they are the basis of rampant scope creep)

-- Chuck, a night driver (, April 07, 1999.


Does your husband remember which radio station he was listening to at the time? If so, call their newsroom, and ask them if they ran the story. Usually, they'll tell you. If you get an "I don't know," ask to speak with the news director.

-- FM (, April 07, 1999.

Sorry, Bonnie. I should have re-read the top of the thread before posting. Even though it's WCBS (big station), you still might be able to get a definitive answer by calling the newsroom.

-- FM (, April 07, 1999.

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