About the Texas Lottery
The Hodgepodge Page
Tx Lottery News ... Read about it all here ...
Back to the 1st Hodgepodge Page
Thursday, June 13, 2002 - A couple of important things to tell you about. Both bad news!
First, I regret to inform you that 7-Eleven is shutting down their drawing results line. I know that people from all over Texas call that number to get the drawing results every day and it will be sorely missed. Especially since players have to "pay" to get the results from the Tx Lottery. 7-Eleven has gone way beyond the call of duty as a lottery retailer to make this service available to the people of Texas but the expense to them was not justified. Lottery sales are down and they have been "loyal" retailers but the TLC has not taken care of them like they should have. Or any other retailer for that matter. Anyway, ya'll tell 7-Eleven thanks for 10 years of dedicated attempts to help players. Go buy a coke or candy bar from them as well as your lottery products. You know, they've sold lots of winning tickets -
Second - rumor has it that the TLC is attempting to add another ball to Lotto Texas. They want to give us a power ball game - The only reason for this is they are still searching for a way to make "more" money. Their sales for lotto is not up - rather - sales for Lotto Texas is down more than before.
Did you know that California added balls to their lotto game, then less than a year later, they realized they'd made a drastic mistake. So they took the balls away. But they had lost their players in the interim and couldn't get them back. So, last year, California in essence, did away with their lotto game and came out with a power ball game too. It takes a really long time to build the jackpots and the people who builds them usually don't win because an outsider or a one time player comes in to take a chance at the "big money" and gets lucky. There is absolutely no loyalty shown to those loyal players who plays consistently.
In Texas, when you think about the sales being down, also remember that our population has grown which means lottery sales should be rising - not declining!
Anyway, I'll keep you posted on this "rumor." We'll have to start those petitions up again. And I promise you, this time - we will be heard!
Thursday, May 30, 2002 - Boy are ya'll upset about the repeat of the "Day" Pick3 draw today and yesterday of "550." I've posted 2 messages that I received from fellow players and expressed my viewpoints under their messages. I'm not posting all comments - but I do hear you. OK? Click here to read our comments.
Saturday, May 25, 2002 - To update a portion of the May 16th posting, the TLC also posted the incorrect drawing results on May 17th and May 18th. The wrong numbers were left on their web site for a long time too. Now, go on and read the May 16th entry.
Thursday, May 16, 2002 - Several subjects to cover today. First and most important, BEWARE of drawing results posted on the TLC web site. I've received over 100 emails about the Tx Lottery posting incorrect Pick3 results and their leaving it up so long yesterday. This is not the first time for this type of error - so I honestly recommend that ya'll check other sources for drawing results before throwing your tickets away. But DON'T ASK YOUR TX LOTTERY RETAILER TO CHECK YOUR TICKETS FOR YOU - EVER! The lottery terminals make mistakes too - that's the main reason the "unclaimed prize fund" is soooo high.
Here in Dallas, Channel 4 makes mistakes on the drawing results QUITE often too. When they mess up, sometimes I do too. But since I'm so aware of this problem, I double check the results and try to catch it FAST. Also, I consider myself lucky in that ya'll question me or let me know when there is a discrepancy. I'm grateful for that too.
Anyway, the numbers drawn for the noon draw on May 15, 2002 was 505 - NOT 123 or 20-30-10 as the TLC showed. Since these errors appeared in two separate locations on their web site, this can not be blamed on anything other than human error.
Regarding all of your comments about so many Pick3 drawings containing double digits since they started the day draw. It seems as though more people play double digits than combination type numbers. Maybe the Tx Lottery is trying to produce more winners as bait for the come? Who knows what the answer is. I do know that "statistically" the double digits were down - maybe they are catching up. Whatever the reason, I haven't lost any money because I quit playing Pick3 when they went to 2 draws per day. I suspicioned I would only lose if I played and I was right. You see, this game is a win win situation for the TLC. You can see this yourself just by looking at the payouts versus the sales. Plus, they don't pay the odds like they should. You can see these figures by going to the Pick3 Money Page. This is what Don keeps preaching. Play only when there is a play. I posted two messages from him this week where he's trying to explain why you should only play when the time is right. I know most of you know that when he says we will see two digits, he's generally on target. His favorites may not come in, but those 2 digits do.
Now for an update about the TLC not following procedures for the May 2, 2002 Cash 5 drawing. They have admitted they goofed but they have produced a statement from Dr. Randy Eubanks (a paid TLC statistican since 1992) stating that not following the procedures had no bearing on the actual drawing results. So, if this is the case, why has Dr. Eubanks insisted on the procedure since 1992 and why did they pull ball set 7 from rotation? The truth is - the Tx Lottery had to come up with an explanation and fast.
The written rules have no solution on what happens when a drawing is conducted improperly - it's just not suppose to happen but this is the 2nd time all the same. Clearly the rules were broken when they held the May 2 Cash 5 drawing and I caught it immediately and posted it immediately. But like the TLC says, they have "preventative measure to insure things like this don't happen - like check lists and auditors supervising the draws." Yeah ... right.
Also for the record, Linda Cloud, the Executive Director, told me in no uncertain terms that the TLC does not make mistakes- you should see my file of TLC mistakes. It's far bigger since her tenure than it ever thought about being prior to her taking over.
I honestly don't know the solution for the players - but I do know how the TLC can better prevent this from happening. For the record, in 1999 I offered them a full proof form but they rejected it stating that they could not accept things like this. A very stupid rule to say the least. Much like the player that took her time to offer an idea about having a scratch ticket with a "wedding theme." I thought for "sales purposes" this was an excellent idea but the Tx Lottery "bluntly" rejected her idea. No telling how the player felt when she read the TLC's response.
What I'd like to know is if this is the case, that they can't accept free ideas and forms, then how can the Tx Lottery use players ideas from rule change comments - like the idea suggested to use the phrase "net present cash value" instead of "cash value option" which they used - but not an idea like scratch ticket themes or a suggested form? I wonder who made the suggestion to say "net present cash value" ... maybe I should request a copy of the comment since such a big deal was made of it.
Do you know how many weddings take place in Texas every week? A bunch!
The Tx Lottery is under going a Sunset review. I am in receipt of a letter asking for input and I am compiling it now. This is the PRIME time for players to speak up and they have asked that I spread the word. They will listen and they will ACT. Click here to obtain the information.
One more thing. Many of you have asked how I obtain the scratch ticket information and how you can obtain even more data than what I post. It's real easy. I send an email to Open Records and I request a copy of the "Value Report" to obtain scratch ticket data. This report is produced by G-Tech every week. The TLC can email it to you or mail it by US mail for FREE. All you have to say is, "Would you please send me a current copy of the "Value Report" But do be sure and enclose your address so they can send it to you. By law, they have 10 days to get it in the mail. The email address for Open Records is: email@example.com
Also, there is another report produced weekly that covers all the games and sales called the Trends Report. The truth is, they should have the Trends Report posted on their web site but they don't really want ya'll to know that much about it! So, I've placed the May 18th Trends Report (updated Trends Report on 5-23-02) on my web site for you to review and will replace it each week. Now, you can rest assured, the Tx Lottery will probably place it on their site too! Click here to read the Trends Report - pdf.
Tuesday, April 23, 2002 - Sorry for neglecting this page - I'll try to make up for it. I've posted several new pages with lots of news for you.
First, all of you really need to read about the "unclaimed prize monies." This money comes from the players prize pool and the figures are huge - the state should return this money to the players. Click here to read the story.
Second, the TLC is currently under review by the Sunset Advisory Commission - a review that is 2 years early! This is how we can be heard by our legislators so please read and contact the Sunset Commission if you have something to say. Click here.
Third, I faxed my letter of comment to the Tx Lottery today about the Cash 5 rule change. Included in my letter are comments about the staff's presentation to the Commissioners and the failure of the TLC to use all of its resources to educate players. I didn't want to influence your comments so I've purposely waited till the last minute to write my comments. To read my letter, click here.
Fourth - I posted this weeks edition of the Lotto Report for ya'll - This edition is FREE! Just in time for the $17 million jackpot because the report is completely current as of 4-21-02. If you haven't already read it, just click here. It's a pdf file and I suggest you magnify Adobe to 200% for ease of reading.
Fifth - my health. As most of you know, I'm recovering from surgery right now. It's been a little over 3 weeks and my doctor tells me it takes 6 weeks to recover. I think I'm doing well under the circumstances but I'm still not able to work full time. I'm doing the best that I can to just keep up with my "have to's" - if you know what I mean.
Finally, I want to try to express my gratitude to all of you who took your valuable time to send me get well cards, words of wisdom, words of thanks for the work I do and for all the prayers. When I came home from the hospital, I had over 2000 emails from ya'll. Those messages were a combination of personal notes and Cash 5 comments. I never dreamed so many of you would respond to my message in this manner, it literally brought tears to my eyes. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. Enough said. Now, go back and start clicking on all these new links.
Monday, March 18, 2002 - I regret to report to you that Commissioner Walter Criner resigned his post as a Texas Lottery Commissioner on Feb. 28, 2002. The TLC would not confirm this tidbit for me, my state rep or fellow members of the press today. It seemed as though no one at the TLC knew that Commissioner Criner had resigned until I told them this morning. They had "no comment." There will be more to come on this issue but I wanted you to know that I think players lost an asset when he resigned.
Thursday, March 14, 2002 - Two things. Regarding yesterday's news about the possibility that the retailers lottery terminals may be giving false readings, I will be posting the story that appeared in the Miami Herald on March 9, 2002 for you to read. Watch for it.
In the meantime, I have just posted a story that ran in the Asbury Park Press on March 6, 2002. I hope you will all go read this story so that you can understand what I mean when I tell you that the retailers are fed up. IF only the Tx Lottery would treat them right, retailers could be instrumental in increasing sales. Of couse, the TLC would have to treat the players right too - retailers and players go hand in hand. Click here to read this moving story.
Wednesday, March 13, 2002 - Have you checked your Texas Cash 5, Texas 2 Step or Lotto ticket at your retailers lottery terminal recently and gotten the message that you did not win but you knew you did? Don't trash your tickets just yet. Two players have called me and claimed that this has happened to them. One player is sending me their Texas 2 Step ticket now. The same player also reported that it had happened to them once before and they went to 3 different retailers before they could collect their winnings.
More to come after I receive and confirm the players allegations. If this has happened to you, please let me know. (972) 686-0660 or click on my email link above.
The March 9th Lotto Texas winner from Poynor (population 250) collected his $4 million. A really cute story even though the Tx Lottery lost $578,182. Click here to read the couples story.
Monday, March 11, 2002 - I've posted some of your emails and responded to your concerns about my moving the Pick3 predictions to Louisiana. Please read them - I think it'll explain what and why I'm doing this. Click here. I truly appreciate your messages.
Wednesday, March 6, 2002 - Bad news ... the Commissioners adopted the rule to start playing Pick3 twice a day. The effective date is set for April 29th. Last month Don and I acquired the Louisiana Pick3 data and we plan to move our plays out of state. For those of you who may want to play in Louisiana, we may have a way to purchase tickets for you. I'll keep you posted on our plans for those of you who are interested.
More bad news. Now the TLC is proposing to start playing Cash 5 six days per week. They are proposing to lower the balls from 39 to 37 and offer a "guaranteed" $2 prize for matching 2 numbers. They think this will entice people to play more. But, while I have not seen the prize structure yet, I already know that the reason they would do this is so that they can start withholding a percentage of the players portion of sales in "reserve" and they will allocate more than they need to pay the "guaranteed" prize - this is not good. Cash 5 was the only game that paid out exactly 50% of sales to the players - the players "really" received the share of sales that they were suppose to receive.
By that I mean, in Lotto, by law players are suppose to receive 55% of sales. But when you add up each of the prize pools - the 3 of 6, the 4 of 6, the 5 of 6 and the 6 of 6 - it does NOT equal 55%. The TLC withholds a percentage in "reserve" and let me tell you, the dollars add up.
I think the TLC is confusing a state lottery with a casino. People travel to casino's and gamble for one, two or maybe three days, then they go home and recuperate! The TLC is suffering from what I call "stinkin thinkin" - they think players will play more with all these games. But in reality, the pots will shrink because the public will only spread their dollars and those who play every day will get tired of losing and quit playing all together. It is my opinion, the TLC is messing up big time. But only time will prove this.
I will be posting a form for comments but this time, we'll do what the TLC should have been doing themselves. Further, we will let the people speak and we'll send this data elsewhere if ya'll say what I think you will say about all this. More to come.
Continued....click here to read more
The Lotto Report
P. O. Box 495033
Garland, Texas 75049-5033
(972) 681-1048 Fax