Testing the balls is not a lottery
ALL any Lotto punter wants to see is all six numbers correct on their ticket on the day of the draw.
But for Gidani, the Lottery operator, the aim is to ensure that there are no hitches during the draw.
This week Sowetan enjoyed an exclusive visit to the engineering department at Wits University, where Gidani demonstrated the ball-testing process.
The testing was conducted by a senior lecturer in aircraft manufacturing, who asked not to be named.
The balls are kept in a safe box that takes two combinations to open.
Cecil Rhodes, Gidani's draw manager, and an independent auditor opened the box.
Inside the balls are covered by a glass and two unreplaceable seals.
The box carries 33 ball sets and each ball is tested individually.
The ball testing procedure is performed after every fifth Lotto draw.
After the test it was time for the engineer to start his work.
The first step was to measure the size of the balls using a go-no-gage.
Go-no-gage has two holes, for the minimum size and maximum size.
The room temperature has to be kept at a certain degree and there is no air, coffee drinking or smoking during the testing.
In the room there has to be a representative from Gidani, independent auditors, the National Lotteries Board (NLB) and one person from the university.
The engineer has to confirm that all each ball complies with the required size of 21 inches.
The engineer then weighed the balls on a digital scale to ensure that they meet the set weight of 79,09 grams.
"Because the balls are kept in a case, moisture can change their weight," said the engineer.
This process is repeated for all the 49 balls, after which both the independent auditor and draw manager sign and seal the box.
After all the boxes have been sealed, a representative from the university and the independent auditor must provide Gidani with a report of the successful conclusion of the testing procedure.