Lottery Troubles Everywhere!

Columnist's slams of Texas Lottery going unnoticed in Austin
Editorial by Ken Rodriguez - Express-News Staff Writer
Governor to oust acting lottery director Gutierrez
By Steve Geissinger - L.A. Daily News
Virginia Lottery named in access lawsuit
BY PAIGE AKIN - Richmond Times-Dispatch
Harvest woman files suit over 'test' lottery numbers
By PAT NEWCOMB - Huntsville Times
Ex-Employees (Texas) Sends Video And They Request
that I relay a message to current employees - The Lotto Report

Posted: Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Comments in blue italics were made by the Lotto Report

Ken Rodriguez: Columnist's slams of Texas Lottery going unnoticed in Austin
Web Posted: 07/27/2005 12:00 AM CDT
San Antonio Express-News

Evidently, the Texas Lottery Commission believes I'm a third-rate critic.

Evidently, the commission thinks the daggers I fling are dull.

Evidently, my insults don't cut, my criticism doesn't sting.

If there were any edge to this column, I would have been invited to help TLC in its search for a new executive director.

But no.

The commission asked two other critics to participate in the search, then slapped me across the face.

Dawn Nettles, take a bow.

Gerald Busald, have a cigar.

Ken Rodriguez, go back to J school.

This is the thanks I get for slamming the commission savagely and often.

An empty mailbox.

Nettles, the Garland-based author of the Lotto Report, got a sweetsy invitation to join the search committee. And she makes a living bashing the commission.

Busald, the San Antonio College statistics professor, got a phone call and a glowing letter. And he ripped the commission so badly at a July 11 meeting his comments have yet to be posted on TLC's Web site.

Did I get an invitation?


I can't even get the "acting" executive director to return my calls.

Who do they think I am, Jayson Blair?

Well, I'm no plagiarist. I make up all my own insults.

Over the past several weeks, I have written:

"The commission plays the public like a trick card dealer. What you see is not what you get."

"Without the poor, the commission would sink."

"TLC could stand for Tricks, Lies and Cons."

"The Texas Lottery Commission is looking for a new executive director. If you want public trust in The Lootery to plummet even more, pray that (acting executive director) Gary Grief gets the job."

Despite the obvious originality of these mocking lines (OK, I saw "lootery" somewhere else), Grief refuses to acknowledge the truth behind the taunts.

The least he could do is call. He could say, "Ken, I think you'd make a fine, unbiased member of the search committee. If I decide I want the top job, I know you'd give me a fair shot."

If Grief did that, I'd melt like my wife in the mushiest part of a chick flick.

I'd be so touched I might limit my insults about Grief to 13 per column (notice the word "might"), a dramatic drop from the usual 14.

But I'm not just upset with Grief. I'm also peeved at Tom Clowe, the commission chairman. He not only refused to consider me for the search committee. He brushed me off as if I were a giant fleck of dandruff.

No call. No letter. No e-mail. Nothing.

Clowe had no problem asking Nettles for help. All she's done is expose phony jackpots, report on cheated winners, and generally humiliate the commission.

Clowe had no problem asking Busald for help. All Busald has done is rip the commission at its own meetings, and, with the help of his students, expose erroneous lottery claims.

Apparently, I need lessons in the art of vilification. I need Nettles and Busald to show me how to shame the commission.

Nettles, of course, rejected the commission's invitation. Serving on the search committee, she correctly noted, would pose a conflict of interest.

How could she look for a new director and hammer the commission at the same time?

Like Nettles, I, too, would have to reject an offer to join the search committee. I'd have the same conflict-of-interest issue, and others as well.

For example: The search committee's recommendation isn't binding.

If the commission wants to hire someone who cannot spell the word, "l-o-t-t-o," well, there's no law against being s-t-u-p-i-d.

Now back to my empty mailbox. The next time the commission looks for an executive director, I will be hard to ignore.

No, I can't accept an offer, but I want one based on the merit of my qualifications. So as soon as I finish this column, I'm going to write a letter of apology to the commission.

"From now on," it will begin, "no more Mr. Nice Guy."

To reach Ken Rodriguez call (210) 250-3369 or e-mail His column appears on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays

Governor to oust acting lottery director Gutierrez
By Steve Geissinger
L.A. Daily News
July 27, 2005

SACRAMENTO -- Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger plans to oust acting lottery director Chon Gutierrez, who engineered California's entrance into the controversial multistate Mega Millions game, his aides said Tuesday.

The governor's office has launched a national search to "fill the position with a full-time, permanent director as soon as possible," said Schwarzenegger spokeswoman Julie Soderlund.

Soderlund would not discuss why Gutierrez has been excluded from consideration for the permanent post.

Gutierrez spokeswoman Rosa Escutia said he had no comment.

Democratic lawmakers and an anti-gambling group that sued the lottery hailed the decision.

"I think Gutierrez' performance came up short on all counts and I appreciate the governor holding him responsible," said Sen. Dean Florez, D-Bakersfield, whose committee oversees the lottery.

On Monday, Florez said he wanted Gutierrez either removed or nominated for the permanent post so he would be subject to Senate confirmation hearings.

The state's entry into the game has been mired in controversy. An anti-gambling group has filed suit to shut down the 2-week-old game in California, claiming it is unconstitutional, while a legislator has introduced a bill designed to fix the problem, which lottery officials insist does not exist.

I haven't had time to post the many stories about California's lottery problems. I do think that the anti gambling group will successfully halt Mega Millions sales. When and if this happens, the 11 other states will continue to sell tickets in spite of the 175.7 million-to-one odds. This will be very unfair to the People in all states. I sure hope ya'll save your hard earned dollars.

Foes Sue to Stop Mega Millions in State
Posted 7/8/05 - Click here.

Lottery named in access lawsuit
Richmond Times-Dispatch
Jul 27, 2005

Roger Winborne thought he was in luck recently when he found a winning $3 lottery ticket while walking his dog.

So he drove around Salem trying to find a convenience store where he could redeem the scratch-off ticket.

Winborne's luck ran out when he discovered that at least three stores in the area did not have a handicap-accessible parking space or access ramp.

Winborne, 51, and three other disabled Virginians filed a lawsuit yesterday against the Virginia Lottery for allowing such businesses to sell tickets.

"I kind of was surprised," said Winborne, a paraplegic who has used a wheelchair since the 1960s as a result of a spinal-cord injury. "You think of convenience stores as being convenient."

Winborne said he has seen many positive changes in accessibility for disabled Virginians. Now, he said, "I'm hoping to see the Lottery comply," he said.

The suit, filed in Richmond Circuit Court, also names businesses in Abingdon, Roanoke and Winchester that the plaintiffs claim are not in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act or the Virginians with Disabilities Act. In addition to the Lottery, Director Donna Van Cleave is named as a defendant. The plaintiffs are represented by the Virginia Office for Protection and Advocacy, a watchdog group that helps state residents with disabilities.

The suit does not seek damages but does ask the Lottery to repay attorneys fees and court costs. It was filed on the 15th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Yesterday afternoon, Jill Vaughan, the Lottery's director of communications, said: "We've just received the suit, and we're in the process of reviewing it."

A retailer-contract form on the Virginia Lottery Web site says all vendors must comply with the American and state disabilities acts.

In Texas, retailers are caught not having handicap access only when they sell a winning ticket. The TLC refuses to pay them their commission until the retailer complies. Until then, however, the TLC lets them sell tickets. After all, a sale is a sale - The TLC wants that $$.

Harvest woman files suit over 'test' lottery numbers
By PAT NEWCOMB - Huntsville Times
Friday, July 22, 2005

Kelly Davis says she suffered when told she had not won

Kelly Davis of Harvest knew exactly how she was going to spend the $90 million she thought she had won in the Tennessee Education Lottery.

"I'm paying bills off, taking care of my parents," Davis said Thursday, remembering her reaction when she thought she had the correct numbers to win the multistate Powerball drawing on April 21, 2004.

Her elation quickly turned to disappointment, however, when she called the lottery's Nashville offices on April 22 and was told that what she heard - the numbers 01, 02, 03, 04, 05 and Powerball number 06 with one winner - had been a test of the system. She hadn't heard the actual winning numbers and there was no Powerball winner that drawing.

But Davis said there was nothing on the recording to tell callers the system was in a test mode, and she's suing the lottery corporation.

"I just want them to step up to the plate and recognize they were negligent, (so) that the consumer calling in (can) know they're getting the right information," she said.

A Huntsville attorney, Clement J. Cartron, filed the lawsuit on Davis' behalf in circuit court in Davidson County (Nashville), Tenn., requesting a jury trial to determine damages for Davis' "short-term physical discomfort and temporary total psychological injury."

"I suffered," said Davis, 37. "I suffered."

Cartron said he is not representing Davis, but filed the claim this past April 21 so Davis' suit would not miss the one-year statute of limitations.

Davis said she is talking with a Tennessee attorney to represent her in the case.

Kym Gerlock, spokeswoman for the Tennessee Education Lottery, said she could not comment on the specifics of Davis' lawsuit.

She said the state participates in the Powerball drawing along with 29 jurisdictions, with the drawings taking place in Iowa every Wednesday and Saturday at 9:59 p.m.

"As soon as the numbers are verified, we post them on our voice mail systems and put them on our Web site," said Gerlock.

She could not say what was on the recording on April 21, 2004, when Davis made her call around midnight.

But in a letter to Susan McGowan, a Fayetteville, Tenn., lawyer who contacted the company for Davis, Andrew Morin, vice president of legal services for the Tennessee Education Lottery Corp., did address the recording Davis heard.

In the letter, dated July 29, 2004, Morin said the lottery company had recorded the "numbers 1-2-3-4-5 and the Powerball number of 6" to test the voice system before Tennessee's participation in the Powerball drawing.

In fact, Tennessee's first involvement in the Powerball drawing was that April 21, the date Davis bought her $1 ticket in Ardmore, Tenn. She chose a sequence of numbers she had used many times in other states where she has played the Powerball lottery.

When she called about midnight on April 21, Davis would not have been able to "access the winning numbers" from that night's drawing, said Morin.

He said no one can claim a lottery prize without presenting the original winning ticket for validation, and her ticket was not a winner.

All that is beside the point to Davis, who feels the Tennessee Lottery owes her money for the letdown she had when she found out she hadn't won the Powerball drawing.

She's not expecting $90 million, she said, but an apology won't be good enough.

"It's a disappointment you can't express," said Davis. "Total disappointment."

Ex-Employees SharesVideo & Sends Message To Current Employees

Message from ex-employee to me:
Dawn, I saw this video and immediately thought of the Lottery Management....You'll see WHY?
Also, would you make sure that everyone knows about HB22.

OK - here's ya'll's message, now click here to watch the video. The video is sad but true, however, the message is clear and certainly holds true for the Texas Lottery! :)) Let's just hope that changes are coming.

Related Stories (RE: TX Lottery Executive Director Search)

Agency enlists help from outsiders

The search is on for a new leader after jackpot scandal
By LISA FALKENBERG Houston Chronicle Austin Bureau
There's still a chance for Lottery to lose even more credibility
by Ken Rodriguez - San Antonio Express-News
Click here to read these two stories

About Grief, Kiplin & Morris
by Dawn Nettles - The Lotto Report - Click here

Email To Lawmakers Reveal ...
Commissioner and Executive staff was aware of jackpot shortages
Click here.

Auditors Worries Vanish From Final Report
Click here.

Read the easy 2 step process for estimating jackpots.
Click here and read the June 30, 2005 entry.

How Texas Lottery Advertised Make-Believe Payoff For Suckers
Ken Rodriguez - San Antonio Express News, Click here

Attorney General investigating advertised Lotto jackpots
Ft. Worth Star Telegram (6/9/05), Click here

Lottery panel to consider changing jackpot policy
This one makes me MAD! We don't want guaranteed
jackpots, we want truth in advertising and a guarantee
that we'll receive 100% of our share of sales.
Ft. Worth Star Telegram
(6/10/05), Click here

Lotto Critic Efforts Pay Off
Dallas Morning News (June 11, 2005)

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

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