If you have never heard about USA 2012 Electronic Diversity Lottery program, then you most probably you already live in the United States of America. This lottery takes place every year and everybody whose country is considered eligible can participate and try his or her luck to win so-called Green card. Now, look what happened. Results of 2012 Green Card lottery became available as of May 2011 thru checking the official website http://www.dvlottery.state.gov/ with entrants unique confirmation numbers. Theoretically most of 22’000 people selected in the results could realize how amazingly lucky they were, yet two weeks later disaster hit: the lottery results have been voided due to programming error!
Here’s the official explanation: “A computer programming error resulted in a selection that was not truly random. Since the computer programming error caused an outcome that was not random, the outcome did not meet the requirements of the law, and would have been unfair to many DV entrants.” Yet the 2012 program is not cancelled, which is a great news, and those who already applied will be able to check new lottery results as of July 15 2011.
The US officials refuse the idea that Department of State could be hacked and the entrants personal information is in danger, saying that they have “no evidence that this problem was caused by any intentional act. No unauthorized party accessed data related to the DV program.”
Why I am publishing this news here, I think it an amazing example of the terrible bug (if it is really not the hackers) in sense of affecting someone’s life. Imagine you win the Green Card lottery and you seriously plan your life in this new direction — and here we go, surprise – surprise. As I said before false information on the internet is much more dangerous than any virus. On the other hand, I’m amazed with US officials to make this lottery fair and square, no matter what.
I think people who won the lottery by mistake should receive the Green Card anyway. At least those who have already checked the results.