Nova Scotia

Atlantic Lottery is retiring its balls that pick the winners

After May 14, random number generators will be used to pick the winning numbers for Lotto Max and Lotto 649.

Random number generators will be used for Lotto Max and Lotto 649 after May 14

The ball machine in action from the April 20, 2019, Lotto 649 draw. (Atlantic Lottery/YouTube)

The Atlantic Lottery Corporation will retire the lottery balls that generate the winning numbers for Lotto Max and Lotto 649 on May 14, moving instead to a computer program called the random number generator.

"They're part of our history but, you know, all good things come to an end and times change and this is all part of that process," Greg Weston, a spokesperson for Atlantic Lottery, told CBC's  Mainstreet on Tuesday.

Weston said most of the lotteries across Canada have moved to random number generators.

Atlantic Lottery has been using this technology for its regional games since 2017.

Weston said the main advantage of this technology is it offers a greater paper trail for checking and verifying results.

"We actually have two sets of auditors: one who is on-site and they can examine the results to make sure that everything went according to plan," he said.

"And then we have another set of auditors in a completely different location who also checks the results to make sure that the results match and so that way there's just lots of checks and balances."

Weston said the switch is about modernizing and streamlining the draw process.

"We want to make sure that it remains as random and secure as ever," Weston said.

Until the balls are retired, Atlantic Lottery is still posting them in action on its YouTube page.

"We all remember watching [the balls] when we were younger, they've been around for many, many years," Weston said. "But technology evolves and the lottery is no different."

With files from CBC's Mainstreet


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