May 14th, 2011
10:08 AM ET

Computer glitch voids green card lottery results

The State Department has apologized for a computer glitch that invalidated results for thousands who thought they were chosen in the most recent green card visa lottery.

Millions of people worldwide apply for the 50,000 permanent resident visas issued a year to relocate to the U.S.

A computer randomly picks would-be immigrants who then undergo interviews, background checks and medical exams before visas can be issued.

"Due to a computer programming problem, the results of the 2012 diversity lottery that were previously posted on this website have been voided," the State Department said in a statement Friday. "We regret any inconvenience this might have caused."

The results of lottery were not valid, and the drawing will be redone.

"They did not represent a fair random selection of the entrants, which is required by U.S. law," said David Donahue, a deputy assistant for the State Department.

The issue has been resolved and officials expect to do another selection in July, Donahue said.

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Filed under: Immigration
soundoff (45 Responses)
  1. Cesar

    Oh darn. Maybe next time.

    May 14, 2011 at 10:09 am | Report abuse |

    WHY not just goto mexico.. then walk across the border.. it's real easy..

    May 14, 2011 at 10:11 am | Report abuse |
  3. Cesar

    The world is a lottery, and I am it's powerball.

    May 14, 2011 at 10:12 am | Report abuse |
  4. JAY

    Another example of a bad immigration policy. Do we really believe a lottery is the best option. I would prefer using a qualification of required skill sets. We know we need computer skills, doctors, etc. Why does a lottery even make any sense what so ever?

    May 14, 2011 at 10:28 am | Report abuse |
  5. Joey

    @ JAY:
    You are right, of course.
    Why does it make any sense at all to have a lottery?
    If we don't give citizenship to some stupid, untrained persons, who will cash our welfare checks and vote for the politicians who hand out the checks?

    May 14, 2011 at 10:40 am | Report abuse |
    • Jazzzzzzzz

      Joey... I'm shocked at your comment , don't you know most ppl who finally get into this country legally or illegally do work their hineys off and manage to save money at the same time. Something which Americans seem to lack while they CHARGE away with their credit cards.

      May 14, 2011 at 10:50 am | Report abuse |
    • Outside Perspective


      While I understand why you may feel this way, you statement is just a a gross stereotype of who YOU believe are coming here to the US.

      Please dont think that it is easy for people to move to a new country and adapt there. Have you ever travelled internationally to understand that what for you, the "native" of the country, might be easy to do, is extremely challanging for a "foreigner"?

      Don't be a spoilt brat, be an educated one.

      May 14, 2011 at 3:36 pm | Report abuse |

    the lottery is a bad deal.. we should only that the smartest brightest, most educated people..

    May 14, 2011 at 10:43 am | Report abuse |
  7. Banderman

    Man, are legal American citizens being taken for a ride, or what? We are the one being 'gamed'.

    May 14, 2011 at 11:22 am | Report abuse |
  8. samiam

    Obviously SOME of the people commenting here would like more intelligent people to immigrate to the US.After I read some of the comments...I can see why.

    May 14, 2011 at 11:25 am | Report abuse |
  9. John M

    Really do we really need a lottery. We have so many immigrants here in the USA that cannot afford to apply for citizenship. I have been married for 13 years 9 of which were while I was defending my country. My wife is German and would love to be a United States citizen but we cannot afford the hefty price.

    May 14, 2011 at 11:40 am | Report abuse |
  10. Dale

    Oh Jazzzz. You are so stupid. If you know the real Joey you will know he did not post that. Go back to your sand box dumb azzzzzzz.

    May 14, 2011 at 11:41 am | Report abuse |
  11. Joey

    @ DALE, @ Jazzzzzzz:
    From Real Joey:
    Yes, all of the recent immigrants I know do very hard work, not only to support themselves, but also just to stay here.
    I know a brilliant one who stays in college for his permit to remain in this country, reviewing information he learned long ago just to be here and pursue his career. When he becomes a citizen, he will be a national treasure.
    I don't think that the reply in question (10:50) came from the real Jazzzzzzzz.
    I think that it came from Hagen.

    May 14, 2011 at 12:07 pm | Report abuse |
  12. banasy

    “We regret any inconvenience this might have caused.”

    I *really* hope that the people selected from the faulty lottery were not informed that they were chosen, otherwise there is going to be a *lot* of people who feel that they were inconvenienced!

    An "oops, my bad" response wouldn't be enough to satisfy me, if I were one of the hopeful immigrants!

    May 14, 2011 at 12:16 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Details

    I guess I'm stupid this morning (and I'm sure the trolls will remind me) but I just don't get why we are having a lottery for people who are applying for a Green Card?

    May 14, 2011 at 12:31 pm | Report abuse |
  14. leeintulsa

    It doesn't really say who is accepted to be in the lottery. Lots of assumin goin on this mornin. That's how rumors get started lol

    May 14, 2011 at 1:00 pm | Report abuse |
  15. chaya

    The article was about voided green card results after having been posted. I agree with banasy that "oops my bad" is not good enough.
    Regarding our broken immigration policy, we could change it to allow skilled workers, rich businessmen, and various other criteria instead of the antiquated having a relative sponsor, marriage, or lottery.
    But that would be logical.

    May 14, 2011 at 1:20 pm | Report abuse |
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