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Calif. Lottery fails to meet Mega Millions deadline

California LotteryCalifornia Lottery: Calif. Lottery fails to meet Mega Millions deadline

The Democrat-controlled California legislature, which has taken an adversarial role against the California Lottery for the past several years, has not met its obligation to change state law by a court-ordered deadline, aimed at ensuring participation in multi-state lotto is fair to education, lottery officials said Wednesday.

The lottery bill making the needed change — extension of California's prize-claim period to match 11 other Mega Millions states — remained stalled on the eve of Friday's deadline.

Experts said the situation leaves only a plea for more time or an administrative fix that might not satisfy the judge as options.

Lottery spokesman Rob McAndrews refused to comment Wednesday on the agency's intentions, saying only that it would respond to the order with something other than legislation by its Friday deadline.

An in-house, administrative solution might be unfair to California gamblers because they would not have the extra six months to claim Mega Millions prizes like their counterparts in other states that allow a year, lawmakers and attorneys said.

If the lottery pursues an administrative solution, an anti-gambling group said it may seek an order holding the lottery in contempt of court.

The judge also could take such action on his own in the case, triggered by MediaNews Group reports.

Sen. Dean Florez, a Fresno-area Democrat who chairs the upper-house committee that oversees the lottery, said he would be "surprised" if an administrative solution works.

"They are stuck and need to do the legwork needed to get a bill out of the Legislature," Florez said.

The lottery's bill stalled because Florez wanted to bolster the lottery's allocation to schools above the current one-third of sales — a move opposed by the lottery.

Though given a year to respond, the lottery has not forwarded typical legal responses, according to the judge's clerk and attorneys in the case.

Sacramento Judge Lloyd Connelly ordered California to extend its 180-day deadline for collecting prizes to the year allowed by other Mega Millions states because the difference could short California schools, since unclaimed prizes revert to education.

A law changing California's prize deadline would have fixed the problem for education — and would have taken care of gamblers. Alternative administrative solutions likely would not help California gamblers, who have six months less to collect prizes than players in other states, experts said.

In eyeing administrative solutions, the lottery has looked at insurance or a bond covering late collection of such large Mega Millions' prizes in other states that it would affect allocations to California education, Florez said.

Fred Jones, an attorney for Californians Against Gambling Expansion, said the development is another in a series that not only reflects poorly on the lottery but advances Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's effort to privatize the operation, with less state oversight.

"Not conforming to the judge's order after over a year, I fear only adds more impetus to the growing momentum behind the privatization proposal," Jones said.

The Democrat-controlled California legislature has been a thorn in the California Lottery's side ever since the Republican Schwarzenegger Administration added the Mega Millions game to the state's lottery offerings.

This comes despite the Mega Millions game's success in the state, and the many millions of dollars added to education, directly due to the game's additional revenue.

The Argus

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11 comments. Last comment 7 years ago by psykomo.
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Delaware
United States
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January 14, 2006
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Posted: July 12, 2007, 5:53 pm - IP Logged

OK. I read this article and now I'm confused. What exactly is the problem here?

    dvdiva's avatar - 8ball

    United States
    Member #2338
    September 17, 2003
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    Posted: July 12, 2007, 10:57 pm - IP Logged

    OK. I read this article and now I'm confused. What exactly is the problem here?

    Idiot politicians.

    Seems to be a problem not limited to CA.

    I would love a big roll up if CA is off the table. Might wake the voters down there to stop electing just one party. 

      Avatar

      United States
      Member #10720
      January 23, 2005
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      Posted: July 12, 2007, 11:01 pm - IP Logged

      Basically the State of California wants more unclaimed Lottery prizes to go to Schools. They only have 6 months to claim and other Mega states have a year and they want to make it the same as the other States.

      Is there really that much money in unclaimed prizes? Or are they hoping there are at least a few Jackpots that go unclaimed?

        dvdiva's avatar - 8ball

        United States
        Member #2338
        September 17, 2003
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        Posted: July 12, 2007, 11:06 pm - IP Logged

        Canada has the philosophy that unclaimed prizes belong to the players and give millions of dollars back as bonus rounds. Too bad we don't import that mentality along with tax-free cash prizes.

         

        Also WA state is limited to 6 months. 


          United States
          Member #16612
          June 2, 2005
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          Posted: July 13, 2007, 11:44 am - IP Logged

          What law is California trying to do?

            fbird's avatar - nw archer.jpg
            Fenton,Mi
            United States
            Member #1495
            May 12, 2003
            5338 Posts
            Online
            Posted: July 13, 2007, 8:43 pm - IP Logged

            Canada has the philosophy that unclaimed prizes belong to the players and give millions of dollars back as bonus rounds. Too bad we don't import that mentality along with tax-free cash prizes.

             

            Also WA state is limited to 6 months. 

            I Agree!

            just goes to show how greedy all of our states are in comparision to canada. The usa needs to take a lesson from our friends to the north. they have special drawings for the unclaimed money. and always tax free...WOW what a concept!!!!!!!!!!!!

            VAL

            Don't walk behind me; I may not lead. Don't walk in front of me: I may not follow.

            Just walk beside me and be my friend.

                      Albert Camus

              MADDOG10's avatar - smoke
              North Jersey
              United States
              Member #5709
              July 18, 2004
              17570 Posts
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              Posted: July 13, 2007, 9:05 pm - IP Logged

              I Agree!

              just goes to show how greedy all of our states are in comparision to canada. The usa needs to take a lesson from our friends to the north. they have special drawings for the unclaimed money. and always tax free...WOW what a concept!!!!!!!!!!!!

              I couldn't agree more Val.

              Greed is the key here in the States.Their concept already shows they care about their players to offer tax free money that goes unclaimed.  The USA should do the same as our neighbors to the north, but GREED would soon override that concept. Too many of our polititions need lunch money....!   

                                                                        Your Best Teacher, is Your Last Mistake.

                barbos's avatar - gold bar-and-cash1.jpg
                California
                United States
                Member #23908
                October 17, 2005
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                Posted: July 14, 2007, 10:10 pm - IP Logged

                  The democrats behave like the previous elections were the last ones...  They have already lost governor's twice in a row, now they don't need seats in legislature.  Hehe will see what happens.

                  vincejr's avatar - wallace
                  Somewhere in VA
                  United States
                  Member #1944
                  July 29, 2003
                  130 Posts
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                  Posted: July 20, 2007, 7:14 pm - IP Logged

                  Methinks Judge Lloyd Connelly hasn't read the rules of the game he is making rulings on...

                  From the MegaMillions FAQ page:

                  "All tickets, transactions and players are subject to the lottery rules, regulations and laws of the state where you buy your ticket. When you buy that ticket, you agree to be bound by those rules, regulations and state laws. Copies are available from your state lottery.

                  • Presentation or transfer for payment of an altered, forged or counterfeit ticket is a felony.
                  • Winning tickets are subject to validation. Winning Mega Millions tickets must be redeemed within the time period after the drawing that is specified by the lottery state where you bought your ticket.
                  • Tickets purchased in a Mega Millions member lottery state can be redeemed only in that state.
                  • Ticket purchasers and winners must be at least 18 years of age.
                  • A playslip is not a valid receipt. "

                  Not every state gives their players a year to collect prizes. Virginia certainly doesn't...

                  From the Virginia Lottery FAQ page:

                  "How long do I have to collect a prize?

                  ONLINE GAMES - 180 days from the date of the drawing.
                  SCRATCHERS - 180 days from the official game end date."

                  In Virginia, unclaimed prizes go to the Literary Fund, a fund which provides low interest loans for school construction. I know that when Virginia first joined the BigGame and then stayed on when it changed to MegaMillions, there wasn't any special law passed to take care of this discrepency in cashing times between the states. So, at least one state has figured out how to handle the situation administratively.

                  Oops, I forgot, California can't do anything the same way anyone else does. Never mind. Stooges

                    Avatar
                    Kentucky
                    United States
                    Member #32652
                    February 14, 2006
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                    Posted: July 20, 2007, 9:06 pm - IP Logged

                    Basically the State of California wants more unclaimed Lottery prizes to go to Schools. They only have 6 months to claim and other Mega states have a year and they want to make it the same as the other States.

                    Is there really that much money in unclaimed prizes? Or are they hoping there are at least a few Jackpots that go unclaimed?

                    "Or are they hoping there are at least a few Jackpots that go unclaimed?"

                    That's an interesting question because it sounds like California wants to assume ownership of the entire jackpot prize from an unclaimed ticket sold in that state even though the majority of the tickets were sold in other states. In most states when there are 2 or more jackpot winners and one of the tickets goes unclaimed that portion goes back to the states.

                    Mega Millions probably has provisions covering that in their contracts with all the states involved. If the unclaimed ticket was sold in New York or any other state that allows a year to claim, California would still have to wait that long to get their share.

                    Do you think the California Legislation is buying Mega Millions tickets as a way of balancing their budget?

                      psykomo's avatar - animal shark.jpg

                      United States
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                      May 30, 2004
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                      Posted: July 20, 2007, 9:32 pm - IP Logged

                      OK. I read this article and now I'm confused. What exactly is the problem here?

                      simply jestrust!

                      the Democrats & Republicans too..............1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10-11^

                      they will finger out "YOUR" future TOO!!!!

                      Don't you jest ^^^^like-IT^^^^like-IT^^^^like-IT^^^^^???????