Ky. Lottery officials show tedious process that goes into lotter - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Ky. Lottery officials show tedious process that goes into lottery drawings

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) - The Powerball jackpot keeps climbing and is now a world record $1.5 billion, but it takes a lot of work to make sure lottery drawings are random and fair.

There is a meticulous process in Kentucky, which is similar to the process that will take place for the Powerball drawing in Florida Wednesday night.

The Kentucky Lottery allowed a WDRB crew in to observe the drawing process. While the drawing takes about 60 seconds, the preparation beforehand lasts about an hour. There are 14 security cameras and many locked doors to go through, before getting to the drawing room where the lottery balls are stored.

The cases that store the balls are selected by a random drawing to determine which order they will be placed into the drawing machine. The cases are stored in a padlocked, fireproof cabinet. No single person is ever alone with the lottery balls, to prevent any tampering.

"There's two padlocks on here, the key to one is held by our drawing manager, the other key is held by our external audit firm that works for us to make sure everything is on the up and up, both of these people have to be together to unlock, both of these people have to be together to access to the balls," said Chip Polston, vice president of communications for the Kentucky Lottery.

The lottery balls are weighed once a month, and random weighs are called in.

"We also have an executive group that at any given moment can give me a notice that says, weigh this set of balls, and we call that a surprise ball weighing," said Barbara Beck, Kentucky Lottery drawing manager.

An auditor follows every move, filling out an 11 page checklist for each drawing.

"Two drawings a day, every day a week, we have not missed a drawing in over 25 years," said Polston.

They do five test runs to make sure everything is working properly.

"If a number comes up a certain number of times in that test and that statistically should not happen, they'll pull that set of balls examine it to make sure everything's OK, and replace it with another," said Polston.

The Powerball jackpot everyone's watching will be drawn in Orlando, Florida.

"The procedures they follow in Florida are very similar to what we do here in terms of ball selection, pretesting, to make sure everything looks good," Polston said.

If you are watching the big drawing, know everything is done with meticulous precision.

"A lot of folks may think that we dump some numbered ping pong balls into a machine and call it a day, there's so many other processes that go into it. We have to continually let players know that it's random numbers and that every player has the same opportunity to win," said Polston.

The whole process in transparent, you can watch a Kentucky lottery drawing in person by calling the office.

You can also get free tickets for Wednesday night's Powerball when the Kentucky Lottery gives away 1,500 total tickets spread across four cities Wednesday morning. In Louisville, tickets will be given away at the Kroger on Brownsboro Road Wednesday morning at 10.

The Powerball jackpot drawing is Wednesday night at 10:59 p.m. eastern time. You can watch it live on WDRB.

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