The Hodgepodge Page
Texas Lottery News ... Read all about it here ...
Brought to you by
Check this page on a regular basis for the
latest news. All new writings will be on top.
Originally Created: March 16, 2000
Updated: January 23, 2015 - 5:30 PM
Minor changes made 6:30 PM
- Part 8 -
The Tax Break Shenanigans of J. Winston Krause
In 2008, Commissioner Krause sued the IRS to get a
refund of interest and penalties he had paid for a disallowed
deduction and income. The disallowed deduction ... he
bought Canadian dollars for $20K; claimed he paid
$2.8 million; he showed a loss of <$2.7 million> yet
he had sold the Canadian dollars for $19.5K. A 2010
5th Circuit of Appeals quote ... "Krause's Tax
Chicanery" A very interesting and telling story
about the man who Chairs our Lottery.
Part 8 Posted April 6, 2014
A Must Read For Texas Players.
Click graphic above ...
Texas' Fun 5's
Fun 5's Scratch
Media Coverage - Fun 5's
- Jilted Players -
FY14 Ends With
Will Texas Honor
Texas Player Buys
Editorial & Opinions by Dawn Nettles
1/23/15 - More on MONOPOLY ... what's new and an attempt to answer your questions ... Complete with the documents to support all.
First and most important - I want to thank those who have delivered information to me. Not only do I thank you, but I'm quite certain that all Texas Lottery players - my readers - thank you too. Once again, be assured and rest easy ... I have destroyed all that I received including documents, envelopes, disks & boxes.
Let's get started ...
I called TLF Publications but they have not returned my call. Of course, I feel the TLC can easily obtain the right to release the interview and should have done so when I requested it. After all, Gary Grief granted the interview and it was done during business hours and it was used extensively to promote the MONOPOLY game. Texas appears to be a pretty valuable customer of LaFleurs Magazine - records show Texas has paid them $43,140 in the past 5 years.
Maybe the interview was pulled because the game failed so badly that Mr. Grief's interview became an embarrassment to the entire industry. According to You Tube, Griefs interview only had 194 views. Maybe it increased to that when I posted the link and they didn't want people viewing it.
All I can do is speculate at this point and that's what I'm doing.
Rumors are running rampant ...
The lotteries are obligated to run the MONOPOLY under the terms of their agreement with Scientific Games (SGI). To not play MONOPOLY would require a mutual agreement between the lotteries and SGI. (Links to these documents later in this writing)
The states are obligated to each other too - If a state is not able to to partake in the game, then they have to seek a variance from the Group for an alternate solution that substantially complies with the intent of the Group. So - by reason of deduction - either all parties will agree to dissolve the game or they are quickly trying to come up with a fix for the game.
Rule changes coming for MONOPOLY ... (If the game continues) ...
Moving on, in layman terms, "liability" means there will be few - if any - guaranteed prizes when the game returns. They will pay prizes based on sales - called pari-mutuel payouts. This is actually the way it should be for all games.
They will lower the starting jackpot to a $5 million ANNUITY - maybe lower- (guess this means no cash option) and will most likely reduce the number of guaranteed $1 million winners when there IS a jackpot winner. The number of $1 million winners will increase each draw ONLY ... AS SUPPORTED BY SALES. Well, so much for creating a game that produces "lots of millionaires!" All that advertising material will be shot to hell on this one!
They want a fast, easy and cheap fix to the game .... with NO programming changes.
I think they are also considering switching to scratch tickets ...
Bottom line ...
Monopoly has so many components that it only creates frustration and dissatisfaction among the players ... there's just no way for it to survive - in my opinion.
PLUS ... let's not forget - TX (and some other states) put the cherry on the cake by pissing off the few MONOPOLY players they had. There's no TRUST or CREDIBILITY left for the game and certainly none left for the TEXAS Lottery.
Players expect lotteries to adhere to consumer laws - Players foolishly thought lotteries told the truth when they promoted and advertised lottery games. Now proven to be false in TX. Players thought lotteries honored their written, plain spoken words - now players have seen that's not necessarily the case - especially in TX. What a shame and disgrace.
Integrity? There is none of that with the TX Lottery. From missing monies never accounted for or found ... keeping prize monies ... failing to catch fraudulent transactions ... altered reports ... staff testimony that is less than truthful ... non disclosure ... refusing to honor winning scratch tickets ... failing to honor game rules .... I could go on but I think you get the point.
It's been reported to me - though not confirmed - that 18 Texans drawn in the December Second Chance Monopoly drawing did not get their trips to Vegas either - I heard it was a last minute cancellation. No one from Texas got to participate in the TV game show that was taped Jan 9, 10, & 11th, 2015.
I asked the Texas Lottery to confirm this rumor but they have not responded - therefore - I can only conclude it must be true. I don't know how the TX Lottery can get away without explaining these things to the citizens of Texas.
After hearing this tidbit THREE times, I wondered IF maybe Texas had been expelled from the group. Boy, wouldn't that be something!
Spoiler alert & Texas screws their players ...
Guess we'll see how true these "rumors" are when the show airs. If by chance these rumors are true, then those 17 Texans (drawn in Dec drawing) who were paid $10,000 in exchange for the trip got screwed/shortchanged BIG TIME - all because Texas pulled out after fraudulently selling $5 tickets to unsuspecting consumers. The twelve 2nd chance winners from the Jan drawing were screwed too when they were paid $10,000 in lieu of the trip to Vegas. These "winners" will be plenty mad when they see the TV show they weren't allowed to be in.
I really want to know WHY our elected officials are permitting the behavior we're seeing from our state lottery.
By the way ... I think it's important to tell you that "rumors" I hear generally turn out to be true. We'll see if it holds true in this case too.
You've asked so many questions ...
The best way I know to give ya'll answers is to give you the documents that legal folks would need that tells all - the Rules and the Agreements. NOTE: Some are DRAFT documents - don't worry, documents like these rarely change "significantly." All documents should be available to the public if requested. You should be able to obtain copies of the final rules and agreements from your state lottery if you want "final" copies.
The Consortium Agreement should be helpful in addressing your questions regarding taking legal action (#7) and the requirements for withdrawing from the Group such as Texas did - looks like Texas did not comply to the terms of the agreement - though I'm not certain due to the circumstances. DRAFT - NPG Consortium Agreement, pdf , click here
I understand that some confidentiality should apply to certain aspects of all businesses, but not in the financial arena. Lotteries ARE state agencies and the People have every right to all Financial issues. In this agreement, read Article 9 - hardly complies with the concept of "Open Government" - License, Goods and Service Agreement - Monopoly Millionaires Club - DRAFT, Click here.
Overall Rule, click here
By reviewing all these documents, you should have learned a lot. I hope you saw the enormous dollar value going to Hasbro & Sci Games by implementing this game. Speaking of making lots of money, while you have not been able to see Mr. Grief's LaFleurs TV interview, let me share just a short excerpt from testimony given during a commission meeting so you can see his enthusiasm regarding expected income from this game. This is the same enthusiasm shown in Grief's LaFleurs interview for their "internet TV."
Read entire transcript.
Can you image, Grief actually thinks Texans can't wait to spend their hard earned dollars so the Texas Lottery can increase the amount of money going to the School Foundation Fund. Anybody who believes that players gamble so the money can go to schools is suffering from a disease called DENIAL. People gamble because they WANT to win more money than they spend. Gambling is addictive!
A Prediction ...
More later ...
01/14/15 - About Monopoly's "3rd chance" drawing (the last chance to win $1 Million) ...
The Texas Lottery conducted their drawing yesterday for those lucky players to have their promised "3rd chance to become a millionaire" in Monopoly Millionaire - which was the trip to Las Vegas to be in a game show audience - however - the Texas Lottery took that chance away from players.
Instead the Texas Lottery will be issuing $10,000 checks to each player.
If you want to pursue this legally, don't cash your checks. If I were one of the twelve selected, I'd seek legal advice before accepting anythng. The Texas Lottery sold you a product under false pretenses - they told you you would have - 3 Ways To Win Millions or A Million - but they are failing to honor the printed words.
NBC - Channel 5 - Ken Kalthoff Reporter, DFW - did a great story on "jilting players" just last night. Click here to watch it.
For some unknown reason, they [the Texas Lottery] does not plan to post the names of the 12 names drawn.
- The Jilted Twelve -
More to come ...
01-09-15 - About that missing video from my Jan 5, 2015 posting - the infamous Gary Grief interview regarding Monopoly Millionaire that was mysteriously pulled. This interview was given to Terri Markle, Publisher of LaFleur's Magazine in August 2014 in Austin. I saw it for the first time roughly 4 months ago - I believe I saw it on LaFleurs web site first. Then I viewed it later on You Tube. Over the months, I've watched it several times but on Jan 5th, I actually watched it 3 times in checking my links that DID work just fine.
.....TX Lottery Director Gary Grief
(See, the interview existed ... but if you click on these
On January 6, the day after I posted a link to Grief's interview, it vanished and a link - "Texas Lottery Video's" - on LaFleur's website was disabled. Unbelievable.
Most publishers adhere to a code of ethics. IF we make a mistake, we correct it, explain it and apologize. We can't change facts nor can publishers change outcomes. When we do a story, we air or print what was said - we may edit the story but once its done, it doesn't get changed - it may be corrected, but not without noting the change. Also, when a reporter does a story, the person being interviewed has NO say in what is actually printed or aired on TV. In fact, they don't even allow you to see it until the story is run.
Grief's story was about a new lottery game - and LaFleur's (a trade publication) - was obviously assisting in promoting the game for the industry which it covers. It appears LaFleurs only pulled Grief's interview while leaving all the other video's intact regarding the Monopoly Millionaires game. Why would they do that?
Once publishers post or print a story, it generally becomes history - and you can't change or remove history. It may be archived, but one can generally still get to the story.
A bit of speculation too ... I have wondered if Griefs interview was pulled for legal reasons. Players were misled and there could legal ramifications for broken promises ... so to speak. I don't know this to be a fact, but it could be a logical explanation. But even if it was pulled for that reason - the interview could still be obtained. I will say Gary was convincing about the success of the new game - that's why I wanted you to see it!
An interesting tidbit too ... Under "About Us" on LaFleur's website, they write, "In 2013, La Fleur's TV (LTV) premiered, creating the industry's first, original content video channel for news and interviews featuring lottery executives from around the world." But they deleted Gary?????? WOW .... TX should feel insulted. <grin>
Creditability is the key to success in all businesses but for publishers, readers must trust the presented information and preferential treatment must not be given to anyone - public trust can not be bought - it's earned.
I posted on Jan 5th that other videos had been removed but it appears they were moved and I found them. You can still watch the presentations regarding Monopoly Millionaires. If you didn't watch these, you should.
- 3 Video's with New Addresses -
See more videos, click here
LaFleurs TV - Additional videos - You should watch them ...
Many of you have asked about Powerball's changes - especially about the starting jackot amount and how jackpots would roll. Unfortunately, I found that this is an unknown at this time. I think it's horrible that Texas proposes and adopts rules with knowing all the facts. I call this bad business myself.
Comments are always interesting to me ... regarding my comments on Jan 5th about the jackpot monies not won on Monopoly Millionaires where I said I can't get an answer from TX even though the MMC site said to ask our local lottery. Well one reader wrote the following comment about the prize moneis not paid and I want to share it with you ... He said in part ...
In concluding today's posting ....
I have also requested financial advertising information (from their ad agencies) as well as any donations or contributions in the past 5 years to LaFleurs/TLF Publications.
So hang on - you'll eventually get to see our lottery directors interview regarding the failed game - Monopoly Millioaires Club.
By the way, they are taping the first TV show today in Las Vegas. It'll be interesting.
1/6/15 - I am attempting to find out how much Powerball jackpots will start at when the new rule takes effect and how they will roll. As soon as I can obtain an answer, I will post the info for you.
1/5/15- Today I'm addressing the failed Monopoly game, an idea for a game that could produce a "realistic" number of millionaires, Texas player demographics (we're smart now) and the proposed rule change for Powerball.
About Monopoly and Texas Director Gary Grief's interviews ...
"Poor sales," jeez, what an understatement!! <grin> Things were so bad that the states bought insurance to cover their losses after the first and only win. As a taxpayer, I feel this was wasting taxpayer money - they should have shut the game down immediately.
Last week I asked the Texas Lottery about the TV show and the monies not paid out, they have yet to respond. But if you go to the MMC website, they tell you to ask your lottery for details regarding what's next. So much for that.
Anyway, I'm pretty sure you all know that Gary Grief, the Texas Lottery Executive Director, was instrumental in developing this game. One of the many stories published after all the other states decided to halt sales covered Mr. Griefs involvement and how the Texas Lottery joined by asking few - if any - questions. In some states, lawmakers could see through the "unknowns" and refused to allow their lottery to join. Of course, that's not the case in TX.
I think all Texas players should watch Mr. Grief's interview before the game launched - see how enthusiastic he was about this $5, computerized, high odds, complicated online game that they claim was embraced by players in their so-called "research."
Inserted 1/6/15 - Well, I guess you can forget watching Grief's interview - it has suddenly been pulled from the net. Did anyone download it? Please send it to me if you did. Obviously Mr. Grief didn't want anyone to see it.
Oh so interesting ... gotta watch Grief's Monopoly interview with LaFleurs, click here
Interesting interview - huh? That's our brilliant and dead wrong lottery director. Notice how Mr. Grief spoke of knowledgeable retailers, there were none that I found. Also, lottery players don't want to be on TV and there was no mass advertising for the game. And 600 millionaires for one draw ... that'll never happen unless they cheat. In my humble opinion, of course.
For the life of me, based on what they sold, I really don't know how they can pay Hasbro their fees much less pay the travel and expenses for those players selected to be on the TV show not to mention the necessary advertising.
I posted the following three videos regarding the new game before the game started. If you didn't watch them, you really should now. The reason is so that you can see how management thinks, acts, plans but mostly, how wrong they are and how greedy they are.
- 3 Video's (New Addresses) -
See more videos, click here
After watching these video's, you probably saw where they plan to offer a $10 online game next. Certainly won't be one I'll play! You'll also see where they are trying to reach (targeting) the younger folks. Little would they believe that this is a huge mistake. But they don't ask for my opinion.
Now they do plan to bring the game back - and that will be interesting to say the least.
Let's talk about the following statement and a way to create multiple million dollar winners on a lotto game ...
Yes, I would agree with this - we don't need one person winning $300 to $700 million jackpots - this money is generally destructive. But we also don't want $5 lottery tickets and computerized draws either. We want to SEE the draws, we want transparency.
So, the way I see it, there's only one way to create a "traditional" lottery game that could create a more realistic number of millionaires.
Part of the concept I'm posting here was an idea that I gave to another lottery many years ago. They took no action - in fact, they didn't think it would work for its "intended" goal/purpose at that time. As I look at things today, I disagree - to me, my theory has been proven indirectly. Anyway, I did request that if they used my idea, I hoped they would pay me something for the concept.
Here's how I think they can have a jackpot game plus $1 million winners - start a new game - do away with all low tier prizes - then divide the monies allocated for low tier prizes into $1 million prizes. We wouldn't have to wait for a jackpot to be won, they could pay the 5 of 6 winners with each draw and carry over money when there are no winners - conceivably, they could even increase the $1 million prizes.
Of the 50% of sales going to players in way of prizes - they should apply 40% to the jackpot and 60% to the $1 million prizes. The jackpot may grow a little bit slower depending on sales - but it would surely increase. Thus, the theory that "sales are jackpots driven" would come into play again. They could also cap the jackpot at $200 million or so.
Most important aspect, they must change the numbers in the games from 47 to 99 instead of 1 to 50. This concept would appeal to the Baby Boomers - we could finally play our favorite years. It would also be of the utmost importance to keep the odds low - no bonus ball game - they must create winners to entice play and spending.
They could name the game the "Baby Boomers Lottery."
About right now they [the lotteries] are scratching their heads thinking I'm crazier than hell. What they don't understand is that players hate those lousy low tier prizes and many people have quit playing because they are insulted by the amounts. So, I say, go all or nothing! (Sound familiar?)
As far as all this goes, truth is players would be happy with a quarter million or half million second place prize. Players spend their money in hopes of winning something BIG - not the dollar or $5 foolishly offered.
But the lotteries don't know any better because they are NOT players. They have a one track mind on the low tier prizes - and that is to boast about how many winners they have. They "think" advertising the number of winners helps them but the truth is, it doesn't. Players don't care - players only care about what they themselves won.
All lotteries have to do is look at the Pick3 game and a raffle game to believe that the low tier prizes are not necessary to offer on ALL games. Give us fair odds at winning 5 of 6 on a "lotto" type game and a $1 million prize and the players will go banana's in buying tickets. And the jackpot prize would be real BONUS to win!
No lottery in the world has tried this concept .... If designed correctly, affordable and FAIRLY, it'll work. I predict the lotteries would get the rolls they want and if matrix is FAIR, they'll get those high sales again like the olden days.
Winners always give the money back - thus creating an increase in sales.
During the last commission meeting,
The lottery has the PERFECT outlet but I don't think they really want to know the truth or they'd take advantage of it. You see, they could have each player who goes to a claim center complete a questionnaire.
The questionnaire should be sealed after it's completed - by the player - in an envelope and mailed to a 3rd party by the claim center. Under no circumstances should lottery personnel be allowed to review the document after the player has completed it.
Did you know that it was reported that players spend an average of $49 per month playing the games. We all know that's a bunch of baloney. This figure is absurd given the number of daily and weekly draws. I think they are claiming more people play than what really plays - it is a well known fact that the same people play consistently.
Another thing reported .... players have higher levels of education ...
For us Fun 5 players ... this is fantastic news. They've officially been told that we're smart! I just wonder why the lottery sent out so many letters telling us the Fun 5's tickets said something that they didn't say! <grin>
Commissioner Krause wrote an editorial ...
"However, some individuals believe that there is a
I am always gratified by the results of these annual
One comment regarding Krauses statement ... "Additionally, there are critics with self-serving
Powerball proposing changes to their game ...
It is my opinion that it would be a waste of time to comment - pro or con- as the Texas Lottery will move forward no matter what you think.
The specific changes ...
There's two significant changes ... one is they are increasing the odds to a whopping 258-million-to-one - UP from one-in-175,223,510.
The other change ... now for that extra dollar, they will be offering an add-on game called "Power Plus." To try to explain it easily ... they will draw the Powerball winning numbers; then they'll draw a letter to determine the Power Play multiplier that is automatically included in your $2 purchase; then they'll draw a second set of winning numbers specifically for those who purchased the PowerPlus add on.
Players can win both draws with either set of numbers.
Power Plus is truly an independent game with its own prize pool, it's own prize amounts and its own $10 million jackpot. The Power Plus jackpot is pari-mutuel and it won't roll. But it is important for you to know that it is the same matrix as the new Powerball and the odds are an astromical 258-million-to-one.
The new Powerball rule Texas has written and proposed is the most poorly written and conflicting rule I have ever seen. For those of you who actually read it and commented to me, well, I agree with what ya'll have said. It is extremely difficult to understand and interpret and it lacks pertinent information.
The rule does say that the Powerball and PowerPlus are "two distinctly different games" but no where did I read that they will have a "second drawing" nor did I see a jackpot amount for Power Plus. Perhaps I've overlooked these things in which case I sure hope someone will show me where it is in the rule.
Read the proposed Powerball rule, click here
Language Deceiving ... Page 1, last paragraph, states that the "overall" odds are "slightly improved." While this may be correct because they lowered the number of bonus numbers from 35 to 32 numbers, but overall I'd say this statement is deceiving as hell. For a game to go from 175.2 million total combinations to a grand total of 258 million combinations is hardly considered "slightly improved odds" - in my humble opinion, of course. The only odds improved would be for matching 0 + 1 - Gee, how exciting that would be to win. <a sarcastic remark>
This is much like the Texas lottery currently advertising the number of All or Nothing winners - clearly not a true figure as they are including the "break-even" tickets in their advertising. I complained to no avail. They are still falsely advertising this figure.
The reason for the changes to Powerball
While I am opposed to paying $2 or $3 dollars for a lottery ticket, I will say they have at least added more value to offset the costs. However, the odds are so high, that it decreases the value for me personally. It will be interesting to see how this goes. I still believe people oppose the cost but that remains to be seen. If this game doesn't go, then they'll know to reduce the costs and the odds!
Now here's what you can look forward to when they change the game.
That's all for now. I'll have more for you in the coming days. Will also try to post an update to the Fun 5's ticket situation. For the many folks calling and wanting in on the lawsuit, yes, you can still be a party. Information can be found here for contacting the attorney, read Dec 9th entry.
PS - I'd love to hear your comments. Email me - OK??
The Lotto Report
P. O. Box 495033
Garland, Texas 75049-5033
(972) 681-1048 Fax