- Associated Press Story -
Appeared in the Various Newspapers

Posted: Saturday, June 12, 2004
Revised: Sunday, June 13, 2004

- Message from Dawn Nettles First -

Yesterday I met with Jaime Jordan, a reporter from the
Associated Press. We discussed a great many things about
the Texas Lottery. I think I gave her so much information
that by the time she left, she probably didn't know if she was
coming or going. :)) At any rate, she does have some things
in her story where it appears she simply got confused. Therefore
as you read this story, I am going to correct some things. Overall,
she did good in what she was allowed to do or understood.
My changes and additions will be obvious.

Critic skeptical as lottery hits record $100 million

Associated Press Writer

Published June 12, 2004

To hear Dawn Nettles tell it, the largest lottery jackpot in the country is just going to get bigger.

Nettles, who works full time on lottery newsletters offering gambling tips and conspiracy theories, says it's impossible to win since the Texas Lottery Commission added more balls to the twice-weekly drawing.

"It's an out-of-reach game, yet they're promising the public something the public is probably not going to see," she said Friday, the day before the Texas Lottery record $100 million jackpot drawing.

In the "out-of-reach" statement, I clarified that unless they FINALLY sell enough tickets to cover at least a majority of the 47.7 million combinations, there probably wouldn't be a winner. With this new game, the TLC's objective is to sell at least 47.7 MILLION tickets over a 3 day period - the game is designed to see to it that players loose until that day arrives no matter how long it takes. I made it very clear that sales do not justify the odds of the game - that's why it's taken 31 draws to reach this $100 million jackpot.

Lottery officials concede the odds of winning nearly doubled when four balls were added to the game in May 2003, but they point to several recent winners. Even with the odds at one in 47.7 million _ up from one in 25.8 million _ there was a $70 million winner Jan. 31. And 24 drawings later, nine people in Arlington split $12 million. they changed the game in May 2003, but they point to several recent winners. Even with the odds at one in 47.7 million - up from one in 25.8 million - there was a $70 million winner Jan 31, 2004 which requird 24 draws to reach. Seven (7) draws later, a group of nine GM workers from Arlington won a $12 million jackpot.

"We design our games to make them fun," said Texas Lottery Commission spokesman Bobby Heith. "You can look at the history of our games and see they are winnable."

Added by Lotto Report - not included in story: Since May 7, 2003, there have been 115 Lotto Texas draws and only 8 jackpots have been won. And the TLC says this is "winnable" and "fun" for the People?

But you can't sell that notion to Nettles, who says she spends 18 hours a day fielding calls, answering e-mails, posting conspiracies and writing open records requests. She says her crusade is all about protecting consumers.

Nettles has accused the lottery commission of poor management (this is why the employee turnover is so high), cheating 50 people out of their full payout (involved 12 jackpot wins which included group wins) and possessing "questionable" documents - as determined by forensic handwriting experts she hired.

To read about the cheated winners and to see who they were, click here. To read about the "questionable" documents (surveys), click here.

The missing transcript - All transcripts from public meetings are "suppose" to be posted on the TLC website. However, ONE is missing. It's the Sept 28, 2001 meeting. The reason they've NOT posted it is because this is when I accused them of cheating winners - see letter from Kim Kiplin acknowledging there was a meeting, but why isn't the transcript posted for all to read? You can also see the Audit Report confirming my allegations, the spreadsheet showing how much was transferred into reserve from the wins plus other documents/comments.

If any of you would like to read the transcript, all you have to do is send an email to: openrecords@lottery.state.tx.us - in the Subject Line say "Open Records Request" and in the body just say "I'd like to receive a copy of the Sept 28, 2001 public meeting transcript. Please mail to (then give your name and address)" or you can request that they email it to you in html. There should be NO cost to you especially if you request it by email.

"Since that time I've become a watchdog and I've become their (the lottery commission's) worst enemy," she said.

Officials at the Lottery Commission are familiar with Nettles, who calls often to request information and file open records requests.

"She's treated like any member of the public would be," Heith said. "We're very responsive to her inquiries. She does from time to time pick up on things that help us."

But she hasn't been helping lately.

Nettles, 53, has been boycotting the drawing since last year they added the 4 balls to Lotto Texas in July of 2000. Before then, she hadn't missed a drawing since the lottery began in 1992.

Nettles started "The Lotto Report" on a part-time basis in 1993, while working full time on a publication for homebuyers. The newsletter, which has 5,000 subscribers, offers strategies and tips for die-hard lottery players. She said it's similar to horse racing reports.

Although she's made money with her newsletter, she has never won the big one. She has managed to match five of six numbers three times. Her highest payout was about $1,700, she said.

She said she became suspicious about the game about five years ago, when her sales were declining and she heard retailers' sales also were down. Since then, she says she spends a lot of time badgering lottery officials.

"I've seen people take all their grocery money and rent money and say: 'I feel it. I know I'm going to win,' and I saw it all the time and it just broke my heart," Nettles said.

Her husband, a flight instructor for American Airlines American Eagle Airlines, said Nettles is only motivated by the idea of helping others.

"She does try to help the people as best she can," Perry Nettles said. "That's a good thing. We need more people like that."

But Heith says people don't need help. He points out that lottery players are winning even when no one hits the jackpot.

In Wednesday's drawing for an $87 million jackpot there were more than 195,000 winning tickets, although no one won the jackpot, Heith said. The Lottery Commission paid out $1,342,265 to those winners, including eight winners at the second level who won $12,837 each.

Inserted by Lotto Report - It is not included the AP story - To be exact, there were 195,918 "winners" - if you can call them that. If you divide the number of winning tickets into the amount paid out, you'll see where the "average" prize was $6.85. People don't buy Lotto Texas tickets to win $3 & $5 - they play or are enticed to play by seeing the "jackpot amount" on the billboards.

Of the 195,918 "winners," 192,127 tickets paid $3 and $5. Then 8 tickets paid $12,837; 46 tickets paid $2026; 1993 tickets paid $100 and 1744 tickets paid $101. In my opinion, there were 3,791 "winning tickets" out of 11,416,151 million tickets sold. This means 11,412,360 people LOST.

"If you ask those eight people, I bet they'll say they're happy with their $12,000," Heith said.

Texans were continuing to buy tickets Friday. Lotto officials said about 3.2 million tickets had been sold by 5 p.m. Friday.

Other Pages of Interest

The draws with the highest "draw" sales, you can clearly
see how the new Lotto game has done for Texas, click here.

Lotto Texas "draw" sales includes jackpot
amounts since inception, click here.

Lotto Texas wins by the "roll" - shows prize breakdown,
draw and roll sales, who won, plus much more click here.

Pick3 sales by the draw, click here.
Cash5 sales by draw/week, click here.
Texas 2 Step sales by the roll, click here

Mega Million sales by draw, click here.
Powerball sales by the draw, click here.
Mega Million sales by STATE and draw, click here.
Compare Powerball and Mega Million sales, click here.

The Lotto Report
Dawn Nettles
P. O. Box 495033
Garland, Texas 75049-5033
(972) 686-0660
(972) 681-1048 Fax

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