Business Times

Erroneous New Year lottery incurs heavy loss for NLB

By Bandula Sirimanna

The National Lotteries Board (NLB) is preparing to recover from an Indian Printer the loss running to millions of rupees incurred due to the withdrawal of the ‘Samurdhi Yathra’ instant lottery ticket from the market owing to a printing error in the data base of price allocations.

A senior official of the NLB told the Business Times, that according to the printing agreement the Indian company, Gobsons Printing has to pay the losses incurred by the NLB, following this mistake. ‘Samurdhi Yathra’ instant lottery was introduced for the New Year and it now has been replaced by a new one named “Monarapil”, after cancelling around 150,000 tickets which were sold to lottery agents countrywide out of some 500,000 tickets that had been printed at a cost of around Rs. 3 million, he said.

The value of a book of Rs.10 lottery tickets of this lottery is Rs.2000. Each book contains lottery tickets with prizes worth Rs.20,000. The lottery tickets issued to the market on December 27 were withdrawn two days later. However, by that time a large amount of money had to be paid as prize money, he added. All the prize money had been paid by the board, he added.

The NLB official said that they detected the mistake when an unusual number of winners called at their office claiming the prize money. However he noted that all these winners had been paid as the NLB is legally bound to do so. According to the print order the prizes should not increase 49% of the total value but the printers had exceeded this limit by mistake due to an error in the data base. This matter was brought to the notice of the Finance Ministry and relevant authorities, he said.

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