Dreams of becoming rich overnight crashed the Florida Lottery website late Wednesday and into the morning Thursday.
With a $500 million jackpot on the line in Wednesday night’s Powerball drawing, the website was overwhelmed, according to department spokeswoman Shelly Gerteisen.
No one won the big prize — it will increase to $700 million for Saturday’s drawing — but two Floridians matched five numbers in the game. One lives in Dunedin and the other in Fort Lauderdale. They’ll each bring home $1 million in winnings.
By noon Thursday, the website was up and running, although it loaded slowly.
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Lottery officials said there was “really, really high traffic,” but did not say exactly how many people tried to log in to floridalottery.com to see if they had the winning numbers. After the problem surfaced, officials reached out through Twitter and Facebook to relay information.
Many people turned to the lottery's social media sites, if only to complain about the outage.
“PowerBall broke your website AND your iPad app. Maybe throw some money towards your IT dept?” Mark Harris of Tampa tweeted.
“Hey @FLGovScott does the @floridalottery do anything correctly? Atrocious website.” a user named Joseph Magnier posted, tagging both Gov. Rick Scott and the Florida Lottery, which reports to his office.
Maybe Saturday’s drawing will bring the lottery better luck.
Contact Michael Auslen at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @MichaelAuslen.