Virginia Lottery sold 180 Mega Millions tickets that can’t win

Photo Credit: Virginia Lottery

RICHMOND, Va. (NBC) —  If you buy a Mega Millions ticket in Virginia, you usually have a 0.00000033 percent chance of winning the big jackpot.

But as many as 180 tickets were sold on Friday that have a 0 percent chance.

The Virginia Lottery had technical difficulties last week and accidentally sold as many as 180 Mega Millions tickets that have zero chance of winning the big jackpot this Tuesday.

If you bought a Mega Millions ticket in Virginia between 10:45 and 11:51 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 27, you may be affected, lottery officials announced Monday morning.

The lottery had unspecified technical issues as it upgraded its gaming system last week, officials said. Some tickets for the drawing on Tuesday, Oct. 31 were produced according to the previous rules of the game.

As many as 180 tickets sold in this approximately one-hour period can win smaller prizes but cannot win the Mega Millions jackpot.

Lottery officials said they want everyone to have a shot at winning the big prize.

“This is our way of trying to reach those 180 people,” a spokesman said.

If you bought a ticket during this period, you can get a refund and replacement ticket so you’ll be eligible for the jackpot. To do so, call 804-692-7778 before 10:45 p.m. Tuesday.

If you do win a smaller prize with a ticket you bought during this period, the prize will be honored, officials said.

An update to the Mega Millions game went into effect Saturday, Oct. 28. The cost of a ticket doubled from $1 to $2, and the starting jackpot increased from $15 million to $40 million.

To win the game’s jackpot, players now must match five white balls from 1 to 70 and one Mega Ball number from 1 to 25. In the previous game, players chose five numbers from a field of one to 75 and one Mega Ball from a field of one to 15.