The powerball lottery suspects fraud, but its the Fortune Cookies

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Who needs Giacomo? Bet on the fortune cookie
New York Times, May 11, 2005, National desk; Pg 1
Jennifer Lee

For the powerball lottery, a player chooses 5 distinct number from 1 to 49 which we will call the basic numbers. In addition you choose another number between 1 to 40 which we will call the "bonus number". The lottery chooses, at random, their 5 basic numbers and their bonus number. If your 6 numbers agree with theirs you win the jackpot (a huge amount)). If their are other jackpot winners you share the jackpot with them .There are additional smaller prizes for getting smaller number of matches. For example if buy a $1 icket and your 5 basic numbers match those chosen by the lottery but you do not choose the same bonus number you get $100,000. which you do not have to share with other such winners. When you buy a $1 lottery ticket, the lottery offers you for $1 another bet called the "Power Play". For the Power Play the lottery choose a number at random from the five numbers 2,3,4,5,5. If make this bet, and you win any prize other than the Jackpot, your prize will be mutiplied the number chosen by the lottery.

On March 30 drawing of the Powerball lottery, 110 players made a $1 bet, choosing as their five basic numbers 22,28,32,33,39 and as their bonus number 40. 21 of these players payed another dollar for the Power Play. The lottery chose the same five basic numbers and 42 for their bonus number and they chose 5 for the power play number. Thus the lottery had to pay 89 of the winners $100,000 and 21 $500,000 dollars for a total of $19.4 million. The article states that the Lottery keeps a $25 million reserve for odd situations. They also have further protections agains events like this one. On the back of the ticket we read

In unusual circumstances, the set prize amoount may be paid on a pari-mutual basis which will be lower than the published prize amounts.