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Broken lottery ball prompts second drawing

/ Source: The Associated Press

State lottery players got a second chance to win after officials discovered a ball used in the MATCH 6 lotto drawing had broken into pieces.

A second off-air drawing was held Tuesday night and the state said it would pay off winning tickets for both sets of numbers.

No one won the $550,000 jackpot. But more than 200,000 winners in the two drawings will get anywhere from $2 to $2,500, according to the lottery's online statistics.

The first total payout was $366,805; the second was $411,216, said Pennsylvania Lottery spokeswoman Stephanie Weyant.

Lottery officials will investigate how the "36" ball broke into pieces during the time the balls bounce around a transparent chamber buffeted by forced air. The winning numbers emerge when an operator pushes a button that forces air to push a ball into each of six chambers.

Typically, the lottery and its auditors weigh and measure the 49 plastic balls to be used in the drawing, then hold 12 test drawings before the official one and three tests after to ensure the balls exhibit a random pattern, Weyant said.

Different sets of balls are rotated for use in the twice-weekly drawings, and retired after three months of use, Weyant said.

The first set of winning MATCH 6 numbers was 13-18-27-29-32-33. The second set was 04-11-12-19-21-27.

"It's not something that happens often, but it can happen," Weyant said.