Christine and Alexandra had the rare opportunity to accompany an Office of Liquor and Gaming Compliance Officer to oversee a Gold Lotto draw.
Christine, Noelis and Alexandra in front of the green screen used for all the lottery draws.
When first being told of our placement, Christine and I did not know what to expect. However, we quickly realised that we were embarking upon an incredibly unique and captivating experience – going behind the scenes at the Channel Seven Studios to experience firsthand the supervision of an Oz Lotto draw!
Compliance Officer Noelis shared with us his responsibility to ensure the integrity of the lotto draw completed by Tatts Lotto. He explained that his position as a Compliance Officer entails conducting license issuing for both liquor and gaming purposes in Queensland.
Armed with some background knowledge, we headed to the Channel Seven Studios at Mount Coot-tha. As we arrived, Noelis disclosed that what we were witnessing was only made available to very few people. Wow, how lucky are we!
Lotto equipment is stored in a room constantly under surveillance and requires two people to simultaneously unlock the door when entering.
After being introduced to the lotto presenter, Richard Champion, and Tatts Lotto representatives Kat and Jared, we made our way into a secure room where Noelis thoroughly checked the security of documents for the draw. From there, we watched Noelis and Jared simultaneously unlock a surveillance storage room which contained all lotto equipment including the draw machines and two briefcases containing the lotto balls. The significance of Noelis’ position soon became apparent when he explained that only Tatts staff and he could touch this lotto equipment and we were to leave the lotto balls if they fell to the floor at any time.
Lotto balls undergo annual testing in the National Measurement Institute to ensure they meet certain standards.
While waiting for the official 8pm live draw to commence, the Tatts team and Noelis set up and tested the lotto machines and backups with varying green screen settings and angles. After national confirmation that tickets for the draw were no longer being sold, it was time to film the draw.
Richard announced the winning numbers into the camera (presenting in socks, none the less), while Noelis, Kat and Jared vigorously handwrote and cross-checked each other’s documentation of the results. This was all recorded manually on a sheet of paper that detailed the winning prize pool and monetary contribution from each State. After Noelis had verified the numbers and sent fax confirmations to respective regulatory branches in all Australian states (except Western Australia), the Channel Seven team edited the clip to add the winning numbers to the bottom of the screen. From there, the editing and engineering crew watched the clip several times as they tailored it for each state.
Tatts staff carefully test the equipment whilst Richard takes shots from varying angles.
Overall, this experience has provided invaluable insight into the kinds of alternative pathways available within the Queensland realm of justice and enforcement. Both Christine and I have almost completed our law degrees and signed up to the Justice Journeys program with the resolve of seeing what else is out there. Although Noelis insists his job is very procedural and not at all glamorous, from this experience Christine and I will take away the sheer attention to detail and many technical security measures expected from such an important role. Noelis’ Compliance Officer position undeniably ensures the integrity of the entire lottery operation.
Thank you also to all those involved in the Justice Journeys program, especially Noelis, for allowing Christine and I to experience an environment seldom revealed to the public. We are honoured to have taken part!
Richard excitedly presenting the prize pool for the night of over $21 million.