You must have heard of people winning the lottery and becoming rich. Maybe, you are one of those too. But, have you ever wondered how the lottery systems work? What exactly is the mechanism behind them and what is the role of the machines actually used for drawing the numbers? Surely, many more questions come to mind, and hopefully, this article will be able to answer some of them.
To participate in a lottery, you either select a set of numbers, or you purchase a ticket. But, to ensure a fair and random draw, a lot of preparation and security is required behind the scenes. The selection of the winning numbers is completely dependent on the lottery machines. Thus, these machines become the core element of a lottery event. The mechanical lottery machines used for drawing the numbers are generally of two types – Gravity-Pick and Air-Mix. Let’s understand how each of them works.
The Gravity Pick Machine
It is the more common machine of the two types and is considered to be the fairest as well as the most secure. The design consists of a drum with spinning paddles, which rotate in a direction opposite to each other. The numbered rubber balls get added to the chamber via a set of transparent tubes located above the machine. The paddles then mix the balls and the number of required balls is ejected from the machine, one at a time, through a transparent tube and out into a tray that can be seen by all. The machine is equipped with an optical sensor to ensure that only the required number of balls is released.
The Air-Mix Machine
Numbered ping pong balls fill up the chamber for this machine. The balls are made to spin around in the chamber by pressure generated by jets of air produced by a fan located at the bottom. To give everyone a fair chance, it is ensured that all the balls are of the same size and have the same weight. The winning ball shoots up a tube and lands out of the chamber and into a tray, which collects the winning balls. This machine is designed for games where 3 or 4 numbers need to be picked out. It has been used in some mega lotteries such as the Euro Jackpot.
The Security Measures
The lottery machines, as well as the ball sets, are kept locked away in secure locations between the two draws. These can be accessed only by officials who have been approved by the lottery organizers. The machine for a draw on a particular day is also chosen at random and external auditors then verify the choice. By this action, it is ensured that all the numbers have an equal probability of being drawn.
In the draws, where two sets of numbers are to be drawn, two separate machines are selected using a similar procedure. One machine is used for selecting the regular numbers, while the second one is selected for the special ball such as the ‘Mega Ball’ or the ‘Power Ball’.
There are more tests conducted after the draw to ensure that all the conditions are suitable for a fair draw. The verification committee includes two officials from the lottery and a third-party auditor. In addition to all these security procedures, the process is made even more secure by a complete video recording of the process.
These secure lotteries are all available for you to play online on Lottoland, the leading international platform for online international lotteries. They will soon be launching a portal for India as well.