Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2003/09/16/tombola_com_scratches_large_number/

Tombola.com scratches ‘large number’ of winners

'Technical error' blamed for cock-up

By Tim Richardson

Posted in Media, 16th September 2003 10:48 GMT

Online scratch-card outfit - tombola.com - has apologised after a software glitch at the weekend led to a "large number" of punters winning the jackpot.

Those who took part in the online game couldn't believe their luck when they won up to £5,000 just for taking part in the "i:scratch" game.

But their euphoria was short-lived when they received an email telling them that the game was null and void.

Said the email: "I am writing to you in relation to your win on tombola.com over the weekend. Unfortunately it would appear that due to a technical error, a large number of people who played i:scratch between Saturday and Monday morning received
corrupted game cards - many of which appeared to win. Under the terms and conditions, tombola are not responsible for technical failures, which was the case over the weekend."

No one at Sunderland-based Tombola.com was available to comment on the incident or to say how many people had been affected by the cock-up.

As a "goodwill gesture", though, all those who "won" have been entered into a £5,000 prize draw. The names of one hundred winners have already been drawn out of a hat and each is to get £50. Cheques went out yesterday.

This isn't the first time tombola.com has been forced to pull the plug on its service. Three years ago a similar problem hit the online outfit as scores of people hit the jackpot. Back then, though, the service only went titsup for a couple of hours. ®

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