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Winning lottery number shown on live TV before drawn

By Amy R. Connolly

BELGRADE, Serbia, Aug. 1 (UPI) -- The head of Serbia's state lottery resigned and several other employees are under investigation after a winning lottery number was shown on live television before it was drawn.

Aleksandar Vulovic said he was stepping down out of "moral obligation" and denies any wrongdoing after a winning ball, 21, was shown on screen before it was drawn from the machine.

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The incident sparked corruption allegations, but lottery officials said it was a "technical mistake." No one won the $1.09 million (€1m) jackpot.

"The draw was completely in accordance with the rules and the company abides by the law," the state lottery said in a written statement.

Police have seized the lottery machine, balls and computer software. Investigators said lottery employees who worked during the draw will undergo lie-detector tests. At least six people have been questioned in the scandal.

Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic said anyone involved in criminal activity would be "brought to justice."

"The path to prison is very short," he said.

The state-run lottery is hugely popular in the Balkan country, especially among the unemployed.

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