The Lotto Matrix: Washington Lottery Website Malfunction, Inspired Entertainment Pushing Deadlines, More

Christian Holmes

lottery matrix

Welcome to this week’s “Lotto Matrix,” a weekly Friday compilation of the lottery industry’s most significant, interesting, or absurd happenings.

Washington Lottery AI mishap

The Washington Lottery tried to use an AI-powered website to generate images that would help customers envision their lives if they won the lottery. Fine idea, right? One problem: The AI had naughty fantasies about its female users. 

No, dear reader, you’re not misunderstanding what the AI did. According to one customer, it created soft-core pornography of her, in the form of a topless photo.

The website in question was called “Test Drive a Win.” Lottery Geeks would ordinarily hyperlink to it, but the lottery had no choice but to take it down.

In a nutshell, users could upload an image of themselves, and the AI would put them in a cool vacation spot or behind the wheel of a Lambo. You know, help fuel the desire to buy a ticket and fulfill the dream.

Well, a 50-year-old mother who identified herself as Megan from Tumwater, Washington decided to try the site. The AI chose the option to “swim with the sharks.” She uploaded a picture of her face. And the AI popped out a topless photo, with a Washington Lottery watermark on the bottom right.

“Our tax dollars are paying for that!” Megan said on a local radio program called the Jason Rantz Show. “I was completely shocked. It’s disturbing to say the least.”

Fortunately, Megan knew someone who had a friend who worked at the Washington Lottery, and she was able to get the website taken down.

“Prior to launch, we worked closely with the developers of the AI platform to establish strict parameters to govern image creation,” a statement from the lottery said. “We were made aware that a single user of the AI platform was purportedly provided an image that did not adhere to those guidelines. This campaign was launched more than a month ago and has had thousands of images created that all fall within the prescribed guidelines. Regardless, one purported user is too many, and as a result, we have shut down the site.”

Inspired Entertainment On The Clock

For a while, Inspired Entertainment told anyone who would listen that it would publish its full-year results for 2023 no later than April 15, after being warned by Nasdaq about the perils of a late filing. But Inspired has yet to file its Form 10-K for 2023, and has very little time to do so.

Of course, Nasdaq is not pleased and has stated that Inspired is in breach of Nasdaq Listing Rule 5250(c)(1). The clock is ticking.

The warning will have no immediate effect on Inspired’s listing on the Nasdaq. Inspired actually has until a June 3 deadline to file the form or submit some sort of proposal to regain compliance. If that date passes, the Inspired stock could get delisted.

The word on the street is that Inspired is working to meet the deadlines. The company has, allegedly, been holding internal meetings and doing everything on its end to get things across the finish line.

Inspired says its internal review process may have been flawed, and the company claims to be getting back on track with its filings. 

The Q3 results were posted, and they found somewhat mixed performance. Revenue climbed 30.9% to $97.5 million. Higher spending meant Inspired ended Q3 with a lower net profit of $7.2 million, down 58.6%. In addition, adjusted EBITDA slipped 2.2% to $26.7 million.

For the year to date, revenue in the nine months through September 30 grew 18.0% to $241.8 million. These results equal a net loss of $1 million, compared to a $20.4 million profit in the previous year. Adjusted EBITDA also crept up 1.1% to $74 million.

The Power couple

What’s better than one seven-figure prize? Two seven-figure prizes! An Annapolis, Maryland husband and wife had one heck of a draw recently, with each side of the relationship winning $1 million in a single drawing.

According to the Maryland Lottery, neither of them knew they scored big at first. They usually keep a big stack of their tickets to scan at a later date. The man eventually went to check his tickets, and there was a match. In disbelief, he checked the Powerball website and confirmed that he’d won $1 million.

“I looked at it, and I went to the Powerball site,” he said. “I saw the numbers, and I said, ‘No!’”

He called his wife: “We won $1 million!”

“We had our crying moment,” he said. “Twenty minutes after that, when I put the ticket down, I went back to the other tickets.”

Things were about to get a heck of a lot better.

“He joked about it,” the wife told lottery officials. “He said, ‘I still have tickets to go through. What if I have the second $1 million dollar ticket?'”

It was no joke — the couple soon started celebrating again, because they had another $1 million winner.

a Powerball winner stays lucky 

Edwin Castro was the envy of every lottery player in 2022 when he won a record $2.04 billion Powerball jackpot.

Last week, Castro’s new $25 million home was in the path of a landslide that engulfed much of the West Hollywood neighborhood. But Castro continued to run hot, as the landslide narrowly missed his home.

Unfortunately, a neighbor’s house was destroyed. The good news: The neighbor told the media that the house was being renovated, so nobody was injured. That said, the man was mere days away from moving his family into the residence.

Best of The Rest

Tickets are selling: Despite long-shot odds, more Americans are buying lottery tickets.

Potentially taking an L: Without the lottery, Alabama is losing.

In and out: How a tech company encouraged Iowa’s sports gambling investigation, then walked away.

A sound investment: Lottery an incentive to buy IGT.

Finding new ideas: Lottery must evolve to find new purpose for Gen-Z consumers. 

Where to go: Lucky places to buy winning lottery tickets? This is what the data says.

You had one job: Winner or loser? Rhode Island Lottery app error discovered, addressed.

A new offering: Florida Lottery brings in the Grouper.

Check the prize box and see you next week!