Serbian authorities are investigating a live television incident in which a winning lottery number was displayed on screen before it was actually drawn.
Serbian Lottery Scandal
The video above shows lottery numbers being drawn on live television for the massively popular Serbian lottery. As the video begins, the numbers 4, 33, and 12 have already been chosen.
Around 4 seconds into the video, number 27 is drawn by the lottery machine, but the television graphic shows the number 21 as the next number chosen. Around 5 seconds later the number 27 also appears on the on-screen graphic, although at this point only 4 balls had been drawn. 30 seconds later, the number 21 is finally drawn by the machine.
Serbian State Lottery officials described the incident as a “technical mistake,” stating that the number 21 was accidentally entered instead of 27, and that the appearance of the number 21 was “pure coincidence.”
Officials released a statement which read, “The draw was completely in accordance with the rules and the company abides by the law.” Despite the explanation, however, the head of the state lottery resigned after the incident as a “moral obligation.”
Viewers expressed outrage and suggested the lottery was fixed.
Investigators seized the machine, balls, and software used to choose the numbers, and lottery employees would be subjected to lie detector tests. Eleven employees were being questioned or held by police, including the show’s host Aleksandra Gudelj.
Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic weighed in on the scandal, stating that anyone involved in criminal activity would be brought to justice, and that “The path to prison is very short.”
Nobody won the $1.1 million jackpot.