How a draw rolls: more than just drawing numbers
Just as the lottery ticket in your hand is more than just a piece of paper, so too is the lottery draw more than just selecting some winning numbers. In fact, there’s a lot happening behind the scenes of each and every lottery draw to make sure that if your numbers come up – your entry is valid, verified and ready for a potential win.
One of the key steps that needs to be completed long before any draw can take place is the process called entry validation. Our dedicated Draw Administration team, which carefully ensures every draw is executed in an efficient and regulated manner, explains more about what this process means for you as a lottery player.
What is the Lott’s Draw Administration team responsible for?
The Lott is responsible for managing the draw administration process for all national lottery games, including Oz Lotto, Powerball, Set for Life, Monday & Wednesday and Saturday Lotto. This process starts by closing the draw and finishes when the numbers have been drawn and the prizes paid.
The Lott is also responsible for verifying the entries from each of the states and territories in which we are licensed to operate lotteries. This also involves coordinating the prize pool contribution, along with reporting for each Australian state and territory, except for Western Australia. Lotterywest is responsible for lotteries in Western Australia, which means it is responsible for verifying and reporting its own entries into a draw.
What happens when you ‘close the draw’?
Before any of our draws can take place, the team is required to complete a series of actions that collectively ‘closes the draw’.
At the advertised draw closure time, the lottery system automatically ceases sales. This means customers, regardless of whether they are purchasing online or in-store, can no longer secure an entry into that draw. Once the draw is closed, the Draw Administration team, independent auditors and government regulatory representatives gather to complete mandated processing activities and checks before permission is granted to conduct the draw itself.
At the draw close, Lotterywest uses official reporting channels to confirm to the Lott that it has completed its processing activities and checks for its draw entries, thereby verifying the Western Australian entries into the draw. This allows the Draw Administration team to calculate the national prize pool information needed to officially determine and declare the prizes after the draw is conducted.
What do these processing activities and checks involve?
To ensure that each and every entry into the draw has been accounted for prior to the draw being conducted, the Draw Administration team runs reporting to provide information for a range of stakeholders, including government regulators. Once these reports have been completed and the stakeholders are satisfied that every entry has been accounted for, the team can then progress.
The next step is for the team to make sure a record of all of the draw’s entries has been isolated, separate to records held by the Lott, and dispatched to an independent third party. This ensures this data is retained by lottery regulators as a record of the draw entries for future verification and audit purposes.
Why are these processing activities and checks important?
The draw closure and verification steps conducted before every draw ensure the integrity of the draw. It’s critical every entry into the draw has been accounted for before it is conducted. Lottery players can rest easy knowing that when they purchase an entry into the draw, these procedures ensure their entry is valid and ready for a potential win should their numbers be drawn.
Not only is it important to guarantee that every entry has been accounted for, but also that no entries can be entered after the draw has been conducted. The Draw Administration team also calculates the divisional prize pools, which determines exactly how much money the draw’s winners will receive.
Why can’t you publish the results immediately after the draw?
The Draw Administration team always tries to conduct draws as quickly as possible after the draw close. However, sometimes all the checks and balances take longer to complete, which can cause delays. For example, on some occasions when more people are buying entries into a draw, it might take a little longer for the team to verify all the entries because of the increased volume.
The team uses a sophisticated lottery system to manage millions of individual entries purchased across Australia. Should any matters arise, these are thoroughly investigated and resolved under the supervision of relevant regulators and auditors before the draw can proceed.
What happens after all the entries into the draw have been verified?
Once all of the entries into a draw have been verified, it is on to the fun part of conducting the draw!
Members of the Draw Administration team perform checks on all the official lottery operational equipment, both at the Lott HQ and at the Channel 7 television studio, before the draw can take place. After clearance has been given to conduct the draw, the attending government regulator official completes one final check to confirm all necessary reporting and processes have been completed. Only then can the draw finally take place and the winning numbers drawn.
While these processes may not be the most exciting aspect of a draw, they are vital to ensuring everyone who has an entry into the draw has a chance to win. Because of these processes, developed in conjunction with government regulators and auditors, each year tens of millions of Australian winners enjoy billions of dollars in prize money every year! We hope you will be one of them!