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Created: March 16, 2000
Revised: Nov 9, 2013 - 1:30 PM
Texas Lottery Kept Abandoned Prize Money
A Shocking Winners Story & About Those Debt
Deductions From Your Winnings
Read Part 6 - A Must Read For Texas Players
Where is the missing money? Was this the perfect crime?
Gary Grief, Kathy Pyka, Ben Navarro, Guilty, Guilty, Guilty ...
Click above ...
Did Gary Grief Lead
Responding to a
Will Texas Honor
The New Spokesperson
For the Texas Lottery
She's the person who decided
I didn't need to receive public
information that I pass along
to you every day!
Posted 5/30/12 -
Q & A Added 6/5/12
Texas Player Buys 7
Lottery Terminals Err - Here is Absolute Proof
11-7-13 - Last night's Lotto Texas drawing was not shown "live" so I immediately posted a note for ya'll to hang onto your tickets just in case. I watch the drawings live via the satellite - I literally watch them as they occur. I do not watch them on the TLC website - that viewing is actually one to two seconds behind the actual drawing. At any rate, I contacted the Texas Lottery last night and received a response from them today at noon. Rather than to explain it all to you - I'll just share the communications with you so you will know what happened and what was said between us ...
This is the end of it. The drawing results stand even though we did not see the first 5 numbers drawn and we really have no proof as to when they were actually drawn. This incident will require 100% Public TRUST.
6/12/13 - Editorial and Opinions by Dawn Nettles - As you all know, the draw game, All or Nothing, was suddenly suspended on June 3rd. As it was reported during the Commission Meeting held yesterday, (June 12), they did this because too many people were buying tickets with all odd numbers, all even numbers, numbers 1 thru 12 and numbers 13 -24. These 4 combinations ALONE resulted in the shut down of this game. Now they prefer it be told using this specific language ... "game design issue related to the current game structure, caused in part by player propensity to play certain number combinations in the game..." Sorry TX Lottery - but I want to be clear and I want my readers to understand and not be confused!
Anyway, G-Tech, during their testimony, did confirm that it was just these 4 combinations that caused the liability problem.
Staff failed to report/reveal to the Commissioners just how many tickets they were selling per draw - of the 4 combinations - and exactly what it would have cost the state had one of the four combinations been drawn. I not only pointed out to the Commissioners that they didn't have full disclosure to move forward, but I also asked G-Tech directly how many or how much the liability was but, of course, they said they couldn't remember the exact "numbers." This was complete BS as they know exactly how many tickets were sold with these combinations and exactly how much it would have cost to pay the prizes.
It is my opinion that they failed to reveal the liability cost (number of tickets sold times $250K) because they did not want it on the record - for 2 reasons - in my humble opinion. 1) they didn't want people/legislature to easily and readily know that the state could have lost $50 million in one drawing & 2) They are forced to make a rule change and staff wants the Commissioners to approve a new rule. Therefore, to do what staff wants to do - offer this game to you but put a cap on the top prize to a total payout of $5 million. This means - where they've told you the top prize is $250K, it would not be the case IF one of the 4 combinations were drawn. It would revert to a pari-mutuel prize which could convert to an extremely low payout. Just divide $5,000,000 by 200 or 400 or 600 to see what I'm talking about.
In their Power Point presentation, staff showed what the top prize would pay, if there were 20 or 25 jackpot winning tickets. By failing to reveal pertinent information to the Commissioners, well, the Commissioners have no idea how many winners could really be effected should it happen so they have an excuse - so to speak - of having no knowledge in the event this happens and players take some kind of legal action with regard to deceptive advertising.
Both G-Tech and lottery staff admitted that they failed to recognize that if all odd numbers were drawn, then not only would all the tickets with all odd numbers win $250K, but also, all of the tickets with all even numbers would win $250K too. This is why they quickly shut the game down.
Imagine, I recognized this the minute I saw the rule and heard the concept but it took them 9 months to see it - do you have any idea what this could have cost the state of Texas? Understand, they TOLD - SUGGESTED that players play these very specific combinations ("propensity of certain number combinations") ...
Imagine, now they want to sell you a game with 2.7 million combinations but not pay you the advertised jackpot amount if you win by playing one of 4 combinations that they told you to play. There is something terribly wrong with this picture.
The definition of a "design" problem - well, this means that because they failed to realize that all tickets with either all odd numbers and all tickets with even numbers would ALL win $250K if either was drawn - they failed to protect the state of Texas with the rule and the rule as adopted was NOT TRUE and CORRECT as signed. You really need to understand the impact - none of these people - from G-Tech to the Commissioners to the Executive Director to his entire staff including those in legal, products, marketing and Finance did a simple math test. How could this many people fail to see the potential winnings - with gigantic losses to the state - for one drawing with a top prize of $250K especially when they STRONGLY and ADAMANTLY encouraged players to play a "propensity of certain number combinations?" I saw it immediately.
Shoot, they can't even raise enough money from ONE DRAWS sales to fund $200K in Texas 2 Step yet they think the state can afford to pay $250K FOUR (4) times per day on this one game????
Oh gee, I forgot - you're not suppose to win the top prize in this game - you're just suppose to donate your money for the school children of Texas - but wait - the poor school children did not receive their 38% of sales from this game. This is what the legislature failed to write into law - that " from all draw games, 38% of sales is earmarked/mandated for the School Foundation Fund." Anyway, it appears that Mr. Grief is of the belief that because sales were greater than projected (this in itself means finance screwed up) - that the schools did receive enough money or more than planned for them to receive so the actual percentage shouldn't matter. This is the same stinkin' thinkin' as an employer who thinks that a commissioned sales person has made enough money this week so he can reduce the sales persons commission rate. WRONG - WRONG - WRONG. 38% percent is owed to the School Foundation Fund - PERIOD.
To me, ONE of Gary Griefs biggest mistakes was in his statement to Michael Anger - "... not feel shackled by the traditional parameters that were placed on daily draw games; and that is, limiting yourself to two drawings a day or limiting yourself to a 50 percent payout." Gary, for your information, anything greater or lower than than 50% would be screwing somebody - players or state. Which one were you intending to screw?
Yesterday, the Commissioners made an excuse for the Texas Lottery and G-Tech - they said it was a new game that has never been played before so they were entitled to a mistake. G-Tech actually told the Commissioners that All or Nothing has never been played in "this jurisdiction" - which means in the US. I'm not sure that the Commissioners understood this nor am I certain that folks who will read the transcript will understand what it means either. But folks, All or Nothing WAS played in Ireland exactly as it was played here - pick 12 of 24 numbers. So, to me and in my opinion, G-TEch lied because there IS a history of how the game performed and it should have been presented to the Commissioners at the time they proposed to play the game.
I showed a G-Tech employee where it was played in Ireland (shown below) - he said he had no knowledge of it so I said, "Well, it was called All or Nothing in Ireland too. I wonder, could there be a problem with a trademark, copyright or patent for TX?" He said, "Oh NO, we took care of that!" Well, looks like he did know it was played in Ireland!
Folks - G-Tech is an international company and they have resources - they can find out anything they want to know from a lottery anywhere in the WORLD. But they told the Texas Lottery Commissioners that because its never been played in this "jurisdiction," they had no history of how the game performed. Baloney! Virtually everything the Lottery has ever done was initiated somewhere else first - guess our Commissioners didn't know this.
One more thing you should know - they did not propose a new rule yesterday because they didn't have it ready yet. So, they did something I highly opposed and YOU should too. Mr. Grief - himself - is going to propose a new rule to the Commissioners ONE on ONE and if two of the three agree to it, then they will simply post a new rule in the Texas Register and move forward from there. It will not be done the traditional way which is during a public meeting where people can comment BEFORE the rule is officially proposed by the Commissioners.
The following stories have also been posted - read them if you haven't already ..
Did Gary Grief Lead The Commissioners To
All or Nothing - Houston Chronicle Exposes
- Texas Lottery's All or Nothing Sales Suspended 6/3/13 -
OK - enough about All or Nothing. You should also know that they are proposing a rule change for Mega Millions too. Sales are down so they need to make it more difficult to win so there will be more rolls and in turn, you will spend more money trying to win. Basically, they are increasing the odds, from one-in-175 million to one-in-258-million. You will pick 5 numbers from a pool of numbers of 1 to 75 and then you will pick ONE number between 1 and 15 for a bonus number. They will be adding a 5x to the Megaplier game. And finally, they are increasing from 26 year payout to a 30 year payout - another method of paying you less money. After the rule is posted in the Texas Register, you can comment.
What TX should do is switch all prizes to pari-mutuel payouts just like California does. But Texas doesn't want to do this - they would then be paying out 50 of sales which might at least make the payouts fair. I'm not saying the game would be fair , just the payouts would be fair if TX made this change.
4/13/13 - Update to yesterdays posting regarding reading the disclaimer. FINALLY someone was able to read it and told me what it said. I can only trust they were right! The disclaimer says,
* Pari-mutual prize = total prize allocation divided equally among multiple winners.
I did enjoy reading the variety of comments you all sent in. Actually, some were extremely funny and a good laugh is good for the soul - especially mine. So thank you - we all had a little fun with this. Also I haven't been able to reply to all of you and for that I'm sorry. Sometimes I get more than I can handle and right now is one of those times. Please let this posting serve as my THANK YOU for writing. OK???
4-12-13 - This afternoon I received from the Texas Lottery a press release and an email with the below graphic embedded into the email.
Ms Cripe responded rather quickly - she said, "It's on our website http://www.txlottery.org/export/sites/lottery/Documents/retailers/lotto_texas_how_to_play.pdf"
So I clicked on the link she provided and found the below graphic was sideways on the page and I still could not read it.
Frustrated, I then sent Ms. Cripe a final message which said, "Still can't read it - not only is it too small but it's sideways on the TLC web site and very, very difficult to read. Don't worry about it - obviously it's too much trouble for you to handle. I'll ask my legislator if he/she can read it for me. Then maybe I'll post on my site and ask if any of my readers can read it. This way I'll know if I am the only one who can't read it. I need to know what it says FOR A VERY SPECIFIC IMPORTANT REASON."
Can any of you help me??? Tell me - what does the disclaimer say?????? You have 3 ways to read it - click here to read the press release, read it below, or go to the TLC website as I was instructed to do ... http://www.txlottery.org/export/sites/lottery/Documents/retailers/lotto_texas_how_to_play.pdf"
Can you read the disclaimer (lower left below)?
Finally determined this is what the disclaimer says ... hope I'm right!
April 9, 2013 - Last night's Texas 2 Step jackpot was advertised at $825,000 which was too low. For this game, the amount advertised is a "guaranteed" amount, which makes the amount advertised a big deal. The Texas Lottery has the freedom to advertise whatever amount they want BUT they are suppose to be honest and fair with the amount they advertise. They have become quite lax which is NOT good.
Yesterday, at 3 pm, I asked the TX Lottery what draw sales were so I could compute the amounts but they did not provide me with the information I needed to compute the jackpot. So, at 4 pm, I filed a complaint with the State Auditors Office in hopes that they would get the jackpot amount increased. My first complaint read ...
By draw time last night, the jackpot amount did not increase and there was a winner. I then sent a second - follow up - complaint to the State Auditors Office. It read ...
This morning I obtained official sales figures for Texas 2 Step. As it turns out, the amount allocated from sales to pay a jackpot winner was $10 more than I estimated last night - The Texas Lottery had $868,512 to pay a winner but advertised the jackpot at $825,000. The winner will only receive the $825,000.
Folks this is wrong. Executive staff assured the Commissioners many years ago that they would be fair in their "advertising" figures when the jackpots are "guaranteed." This is NOT fair in my opinion.
You all need to speak up - contact your state legislator and tell them that you would appreciate it if the Texas Lottery would quit low balling advertised jackpot amounts. They were overly conservative in the the advertised amount and they knew exactly what they were doing as is shown on their jackpot estimation sheet. In the end, they were "over" by $43,502. The jackpot should have been advertised at $850 and this would have been fairer.
April 4, 2013 - Commentary/Opinions by Dawn Nettles ...
You see, $3.1 million is how much the Texas Lottery will be overpaying last nights (04/03/13) Lotto Texas winner.
I just got off the phone with a player who wanted me to explain to her how and why I say the Texas Lottery is short to fund last nights win by $3.1 million. In the end, she suggested that I tell you once again WHY - she thought you should all read or hear this. So here goes ...
Last night, the Texas Lottery advertised the jackpot at $7 million. The figure, "7 Million" represents how much a person would receive IF he was paid over a 25 year period. To get a return of $7 million over 25 years, the lottery has to invest $5,300,800. The $5.3 million is the "cost to fund the jackpot."
Now - there were 4 draws leading up to this win.
The third draw was advertised at $6 million and from sales the Texas Lottery had $596,620 to set aside to pay a winner. No one won so $571,544 + $483,058 + 596,620 was carried forward to pay a winner.
The forth draw was advertised at $7 million and from sales the Texas Lottery had $512,406 to pay a winner. There was ONE winner so the Texas Lottery had $571,544 + $483,058 + 596,620 + $512,406 = $2,163,629 FROM SALES to pay THE winner.
But wait a minute ... That's not enough to pay the winner because it costs $5,300,800 to get a return of $7 million. So the Texas Lottery has to make up the differences and so they take their profits - state money to the tune of $3,137,171 - to pay this one player. They are honoring what they advertise.
Imagine, if the Texas Lottery simply operated within their budget and advertised an amount they could rightfully fund from sales, the state would have MORE money. Perhaps Governor Perry could have offered MORE money to assist in catching these people before MORE harm comes to more innocent people. Perhaps this could reduce security costs and give people peace of mind by seriously enticing people to come forward.
If by chance you are thinking that lottery money is used only for education, remember, lottery money only reduces the amount the state has to put into the school fund. Lottery money is not in addition to the amount budgeted for the schools - lottery money frees up money that WAS intended for the schools budget.
But NO, the Texas Lottery has an ego and that ego has cost the state $70,949,024 JUST since July 31, 2010. Personally, I'd fire any person who cost me this much money when clearly they didn't have to. Sounds like bad judgement calls to me. Anyway, here is a list of the lucky wins who were needlessly but luckily overpaid ...
07/31/10: Deducted <$1,188,788> from School fund or TLC operating account to fund
Imagine ... the state so generously gave or paid 23 people an extra $70,949,024 ... but not equally! If I were one of these people, shoot I might be tempted to sue the state for discrimination! <grin>
And folks, these overpayments have been going on for a long time. This is just the "recent" amount!
Change of subject -
At this point, I am in shock at my findings - I'm shocked that certain individuals still have their jobs - and I firmly believe that when I finish - which I hope will be within the next two weeks - that you will wonder the same thing that I wonder. I believe we need an unbiased outside investigation into the failed actions of some executive staff members and I believe the legislature needs to get answers fast.
In a nutshell, the Texas Lottery has needlessly thrown away $70 million (Lotto Texas), $2.8 million (Texas 2 Step), given "merit raises" and promotions where I seriously question the "merits" given, and needlessly lost hundered of thousands of dollars which I plan to show you.
Please bear with me on this story- it is not an easy one to write and I MUST have every detail documented.
Another change of subject - Lotto Texas multi draw feature ...
OK - enough for today. I will be posting my story in the very near future - so watch for it. You all need to see how they work in Austin.
March 15, 2013 - Comments and opinions by Dawn Nettles ...
The rule appeared in the March 8, 2013 edition of the Texas Register but so far, the TLC has not issued a press release plus they've failed to make this substantive rule change highly visible on their web site. Many years ago Commissioner Tom Clowe ordered staff to make game changes highly visible on the agency's website so the public would know that they have a right to speak up. But Commissioners Clowe and Cox are no longer there so the TLC has returned to keeping secrets. And boy, do they ever have secrets!!!
At any rate, they don't want your input - they just want to increase the number of draws per day in hopes that you will lose more money. What's interesting about this change is that they issued a press release regarding Supporting National Problem Gambling Awareness Week while increasing gaming here in Texas so they can make more money. Talk about hypocritical!
Did you know that we currently have 64 draws per week and IF they increase Pick3 and Daily4 to 4 draws per day, then we will have 88 draws per week?
You need to comment ... tell them what you think. Here's how ...
Just a little bit about the failure to reconcile the prize payment account - this is an unbelievable story.
However, after much ADO, the file format was changed so you can read it now. This was also the meeting where the TLC proposed a change for Lotto Texas. If you go read the transcript, please note the commissioners just listen to staff's request to change Lotto Texas and ask very little.
Not only did they not post the transcript in a user friendly format but the TLC also refused to post the investigative Audit Report regarding the failure to reconcile the prize payment bank account.
Again after much ADO, the Audit Report has been posted for all to read. (The "much ADO" means that I had to contact legislators to get results)
At any rate, the failure to reconcile the Prize Payment account resulted in the loss of hundreds of thousands of dollars. It was revealed when the State Auditors office received a complaint in Nov 2010. The complaint read ...
Complete details are forthcoming ... so that you know, I'm having difficulty obtaining all documents needed to complete my story. But it's coming very, very soon. Do know though, NO ONE HAS BEEN HELD ACCOUNTABLE for the losses that started in 2006! Stay tuned ....
The Lotto Report
P. O. Box 495033
Garland, Texas 75049-5033
(972) 681-1048 Fax