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Legislator demands greater scrutiny of Florida Lottery

Florida LotteryFlorida Lottery: Legislator demands greater scrutiny of Florida Lottery
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The vice chairwoman of the Florida Senate Gaming Committee, Sen. Maria Sachs, called for greater scrutiny of the Florida Lottery after a Palm Beach Post investigation revealed some people are winning big prizes against enormous odds.

Sachs, D-Delray Beach, has been an advocate of folding the lottery into a state gaming commission, which would be overseen by legislators and include all forms of gambling in the state. She said The Post's investigation further emphasized that need.

"What your investigation has shown is that we need greater oversight," Sachs said.

The Post's six-month investigation revealed that roughly 200 people were defying lottery odds over the last decade to cash in tens or hundreds of winning tickets worth $600 or more.

Mathematicians calculated that nine of the 10 most prolific winners would have lost up to $2 million trying to win so many times.

One man won $719,000 at 69 stores from North Lauderdale to Vero Beach in a six-year span.

In other states, such winning patterns have been found to be associated with criminal activity. Frequent winners in other states were found to have been store clerks stealing tickets from unsuspecting customers, "ticket cashers" who helped lottery winners avoid back taxes or child support and criminals using the lottery to launder money.

Gov. Rick Scott, whose office oversees the lottery and appoints the lottery secretary, said Wednesday, "I know the secretary of the lottery takes everything seriously and wants to make sure it's done properly and with transparency and we're going to make sure there is no fraud."

His office added: "Working with the Florida Lottery, we will continue to increase transparency and hold criminals accountable to protect Florida taxpayers from fraudulent activity."

Lottery Secretary Cynthia O'Connell told The Post before the story ran that the incredible rate of winning could simply be luck. A lottery official said Wednesday the lottery would respond to the story but couldn't predict a time frame.

Sachs said that retailers should have greater scrutiny, also. The Post found six of the top 10 prolific winners were store clerks or owners.

Currently, store clerks and employees can play the lottery without restriction. They can even play from behind the counter if the store allows it.

Some North American lotteries don't permit clerks and owners to play at their own stores.

"They can't be checking the tickets to see if anybody won. They can't be playing," Sachs said. "Your article, and previous articles, have shown that other states do it better."

Rep. Mark Pafford, D-West Palm Beach, said that relationship creates a "perception issue."

"You shouldn't have the hand in the till. That's extremely awkward," he said.

The Post found that some lotteries place restrictions on its retailers. Ontario, one of the largest lotteries in North America, doesn't allow clerks and owners to play at their own stores.

California asks winners if they own or work at a store that sells lottery tickets. Florida doesn't.

The Senate and House gaming committees are considering creation of a gaming commission that would oversee parimutuels and other forms of gambling. But Sachs wants the commission to also oversee the state's $5 billion lottery.

Up to seven people would serve on the commission. They'd be appointed by the governor and overseen by legislators.

"Any time you have a big pot of money and you have so many outlets where people are spending money to get money, you've got to have a lot of oversight," Sachs said.

Palm Beach Post

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15 comments. Last comment 8 months ago by THRIFTY.
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MADDOG10's avatar - smoke
North Jersey
United States
Member #5709
July 18, 2004
18024 Posts
Offline
Posted: April 2, 2014, 9:09 am - IP Logged

And when it happens on your watch, would you be saying it still needs greater scrutiny Sen. Sachs?  Then maybe it would be time for big brother

to step in then? Do all these democratic lawmakers see life as smoke and mirrors? As long as nothing is being done illegally, why would you think they needed more scrutiny? I wonder if the same argument can bve said about your voters Sen. Sachs?

She needs to pay attention to things at hand, instead of trying to gain her 15 minutes of fame.

                                                          Your Best Teacher, is Your First Mistake.

    Gleno's avatar - Lottery-001.jpg
    New Jersey
    United States
    Member #80354
    September 25, 2009
    304 Posts
    Offline
    Posted: April 2, 2014, 9:28 am - IP Logged

    So how did Florida not have a state gaming commission? Or at least a state lottery commission? 

    State Committees seem to be  short lived, as memebrs come and go, very often as the result of newly elected representatives. 

    This article raises alot of good points. 

    Coffee

      noise-gate's avatar - images q=tbn:ANd9GcR91HDs4UJhjxO7cmeMQWZ5lB_FOcMLOGicau4V74R45tDgPWrr
      Bay Area/ California
      United States
      Member #136482
      December 12, 2012
      2130 Posts
      Offline
      Posted: April 2, 2014, 9:40 am - IP Logged

      So how did Florida not have a state gaming commission? Or at least a state lottery commission? 

      State Committees seem to be  short lived, as memebrs come and go, very often as the result of newly elected representatives. 

      This article raises alot of good points. 

      Coffee

      Good question G.
      As always " Store Clerks" are associated with Criminal behavior,  along with other parasites hell- bent on screwing the playing public. .

        pickone4me's avatar - 021414tvlies zpsa453b327.jpg
        Wisconsin
        United States
        Member #104966
        January 23, 2011
        622 Posts
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        Posted: April 2, 2014, 10:00 am - IP Logged

        I also demand it for california and new york too.

          LottoMetro's avatar - Lottery-024.jpg
          Happyland
          United States
          Member #146350
          September 1, 2013
          721 Posts
          Online
          Posted: April 2, 2014, 11:43 am - IP Logged

          "The Post found six of the top 10 prolific winners were store clerks or owners."

          There's your smoking gun. Think about how many tickets pass through their hands every day. A couple clerks who play, sure, but 6 of the top 10 winners?

          If the chances of winning the jackpot are so slim, why play when the jackpot is so small? Your chances never change, but the payoff does.
          If a crystal ball showed you the future of the rest of your life, and in that future you will never win a jackpot, would you still play?

          2013: -35.14% (158 tickets) || 2014: +42.06% (15 tickets) || 2015: ???
          P&L % = Total Win($)/Total Wager($) - 1

            noise-gate's avatar - images q=tbn:ANd9GcR91HDs4UJhjxO7cmeMQWZ5lB_FOcMLOGicau4V74R45tDgPWrr
            Bay Area/ California
            United States
            Member #136482
            December 12, 2012
            2130 Posts
            Offline
            Posted: April 2, 2014, 1:10 pm - IP Logged

            I also demand it for california and new york too.

            Picker..California lottery Commission has its own " Lottery Cops"- they arrest vendor's and pull out their equipment if they play fast & loose with the rules.
            The Host of " To catch a Predator" ( Chris Hanson ) did a ride along with some of the enforcers out here to nail some vendors who had crossed over to the dark side. The lottery out here does not mess around with crooked Vendors, its jail time.
            They did & still do " sting operations" where they will have the Ca-lottery make a $500.00 scratch off ticket, have one of their young employees present it to the vendor and say " l don't know how much l have won, could you scan it for me"..that vendor BETTER say $500.00
            One Indian vendor told the person " you won $50.00"-  in came the enforcers w/ camera's & got their a$$ nailed for fraud.
            l would not go so far as to say they all over the place- but they out there.

              psykomo's avatar - animal shark.jpg

              United States
              Member #4877
              May 30, 2004
              4641 Posts
              Offline
              Posted: April 2, 2014, 1:29 pm - IP Logged

              Dear Setator Snatch:

              All a Psyko can say is:

              U DO UR THANG and Psyko will DO my THANG>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>22222222!!!

              When I'm N FL>YES>play D lottery N>UR state as much as possible when dare!!!

              Note:

              Take my WIN'$ N>UR state>>take my losse'$$$$$$$<<<222222222222222222!!!

              Like D>>>>>>>>YES>>2>D "FLORDIA" lottery$$$$>>>seem 2 "BREAK" even!!!!

                                                             HyperHit With StickHyper

                Get paid's avatar - Lottery-062.jpg
                texas
                United States
                Member #152331
                February 11, 2014
                59 Posts
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                Posted: April 2, 2014, 3:18 pm - IP Logged

                I agree owners should,not play at their own store. An workers should not play were they work. I know you heard the story of willis willis.

                  duckman's avatar - ducklogodrake64x64
                  Jacksonville Florida
                  United States
                  Member #23018
                  October 6, 2005
                  753 Posts
                  Offline
                  Posted: April 2, 2014, 10:01 pm - IP Logged

                  Don't know if this is related to pressure to clean things up:

                  FLORIDA LOTTERY ANNOUNCES SUSPENSION OF THREE BROWARD COUNTY RETAILERS

                  TALLAHASSEE -Today the Florida Lottery announced it has suspended the sale of its products at three Pompano Beach retailers after an on-going investigation determined fraudulent activity may have occurred involving the sale of lottery tickets. The Lottery has suspended sales at the following locations:

                  Akel Market, 502 NW 6th St, Pompano Beach
                  Georgia Market, 1404 NW 6th Avenue, Pompano Beach
                  Kwik Stop Food Store, 617 Hammondville Road, Pompano Beach

                  A Lottery law enforcement agent assisted by the Broward County Sheriff's Office removed all lottery equipment, tickets and other property from each store. The contract suspension of all three retailers is temporary while the Florida Lottery continues its investigation. If the investigation concludes that a crime has taken place, the Florida Lottery would terminate the retailer's contract and owners or employees of the stores could face criminal charges.

                  "The Florida Lottery will not tolerate fraudulent activity by our players or retailers. The integrity of the Florida Lottery is our top priority," said Florida Lottery Secretary Cynthia O'Connell. "This action is part of our on-going effort to heighten awareness of what we do as an organization to combat illegal activity."


                  Source: Press Release on Florida Lottery website dated WEDNESDAY, APRIL 2, 2014

                    Avatar
                    Kentucky
                    United States
                    Member #32652
                    February 14, 2006
                    5608 Posts
                    Offline
                    Posted: April 2, 2014, 10:04 pm - IP Logged

                    The vice chairwoman of the Florida Senate Gaming Committee, Sen. Maria Sachs, called for greater scrutiny of the Florida Lottery after a Palm Beach Post investigation revealed some people are winning big prizes against enormous odds.

                    Sachs, D-Delray Beach, has been an advocate of folding the lottery into a state gaming commission, which would be overseen by legislators and include all forms of gambling in the state. She said The Post's investigation further emphasized that need.

                    "What your investigation has shown is that we need greater oversight," Sachs said.

                    The Post's six-month investigation revealed that roughly 200 people were defying lottery odds over the last decade to cash in tens or hundreds of winning tickets worth $600 or more.

                    Mathematicians calculated that nine of the 10 most prolific winners would have lost up to $2 million trying to win so many times.

                    One man won $719,000 at 69 stores from North Lauderdale to Vero Beach in a six-year span.

                    In other states, such winning patterns have been found to be associated with criminal activity. Frequent winners in other states were found to have been store clerks stealing tickets from unsuspecting customers, "ticket cashers" who helped lottery winners avoid back taxes or child support and criminals using the lottery to launder money.

                    Gov. Rick Scott, whose office oversees the lottery and appoints the lottery secretary, said Wednesday, "I know the secretary of the lottery takes everything seriously and wants to make sure it's done properly and with transparency and we're going to make sure there is no fraud."

                    His office added: "Working with the Florida Lottery, we will continue to increase transparency and hold criminals accountable to protect Florida taxpayers from fraudulent activity."

                    Lottery Secretary Cynthia O'Connell told The Post before the story ran that the incredible rate of winning could simply be luck. A lottery official said Wednesday the lottery would respond to the story but couldn't predict a time frame.

                    Sachs said that retailers should have greater scrutiny, also. The Post found six of the top 10 prolific winners were store clerks or owners.

                    Currently, store clerks and employees can play the lottery without restriction. They can even play from behind the counter if the store allows it.

                    Some North American lotteries don't permit clerks and owners to play at their own stores.

                    "They can't be checking the tickets to see if anybody won. They can't be playing," Sachs said. "Your article, and previous articles, have shown that other states do it better."

                    Rep. Mark Pafford, D-West Palm Beach, said that relationship creates a "perception issue."

                    "You shouldn't have the hand in the till. That's extremely awkward," he said.

                    The Post found that some lotteries place restrictions on its retailers. Ontario, one of the largest lotteries in North America, doesn't allow clerks and owners to play at their own stores.

                    California asks winners if they own or work at a store that sells lottery tickets. Florida doesn't.

                    The Senate and House gaming committees are considering creation of a gaming commission that would oversee parimutuels and other forms of gambling. But Sachs wants the commission to also oversee the state's $5 billion lottery.

                    Up to seven people would serve on the commission. They'd be appointed by the governor and overseen by legislators.

                    "Any time you have a big pot of money and you have so many outlets where people are spending money to get money, you've got to have a lot of oversight," Sachs said.

                    "The Post's six-month investigation revealed that roughly 200 people were defying lottery odds over the last decade to cash in tens or hundreds of winning tickets worth $600 or more."

                    Or the obvious that 200 people are buying and cashing tickets worth $600 or more from the real winners at a reduced cost. The only question should be "is it legal to buy a winning lottery or any ticket from another player?"

                    "In other states, such winning patterns have been found to be associated with criminal activity. Frequent winners in other states were found to have been store clerks stealing tickets from unsuspecting customers"

                    This is probably true in every state with a lottery and more likely to happen to players who have no clue how much their ticket is worth. I don't know how a state lottery can make it any more plain when they tell players to sign the back of the tickets before cashing.

                    To eliminate any possibility of criminal activities, will all Florida player have to prove they actually bought their winning ticket before they can collect?

                    What about scratch-off and other tickets given as gifts or stocking suffers?

                      Avatar
                      New Member

                      United States
                      Member #138608
                      February 1, 2013
                      33 Posts
                      Offline
                      Posted: April 3, 2014, 9:23 pm - IP Logged

                      Picker..California lottery Commission has its own " Lottery Cops"- they arrest vendor's and pull out their equipment if they play fast & loose with the rules.
                      The Host of " To catch a Predator" ( Chris Hanson ) did a ride along with some of the enforcers out here to nail some vendors who had crossed over to the dark side. The lottery out here does not mess around with crooked Vendors, its jail time.
                      They did & still do " sting operations" where they will have the Ca-lottery make a $500.00 scratch off ticket, have one of their young employees present it to the vendor and say " l don't know how much l have won, could you scan it for me"..that vendor BETTER say $500.00
                      One Indian vendor told the person " you won $50.00"-  in came the enforcers w/ camera's & got their a$$ nailed for fraud.
                      l would not go so far as to say they all over the place- but they out there.

                      Don't waste your time on pickoneforme. Dude is tin foil afficiando. He's complainng about poweball and MM which are a nationwide games.

                        THRIFTY's avatar - darth vader-face.jpeg
                        NEW YORK
                        United States
                        Member #90537
                        April 29, 2010
                        3339 Posts
                        Offline
                        Posted: April 8, 2014, 2:12 pm - IP Logged

                        And when it happens on your watch, would you be saying it still needs greater scrutiny Sen. Sachs?  Then maybe it would be time for big brother

                        to step in then? Do all these democratic lawmakers see life as smoke and mirrors? As long as nothing is being done illegally, why would you think they needed more scrutiny? I wonder if the same argument can bve said about your voters Sen. Sachs?

                        She needs to pay attention to things at hand, instead of trying to gain her 15 minutes of fame.

                        The lottery was created as a revenue source for the government.

                        US Flag 

                        YOU WILL NEVER WIN A LOTTERY JACKPOT IN YOUR LIFETIME.

                          THRIFTY's avatar - darth vader-face.jpeg
                          NEW YORK
                          United States
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                          April 29, 2010
                          3339 Posts
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                          Posted: April 8, 2014, 2:15 pm - IP Logged

                          I also demand it for california and new york too.

                          It feels great to see lottery players demanding changes from the lottery. Are you still playing the lottery?

                          US Flag 

                          YOU WILL NEVER WIN A LOTTERY JACKPOT IN YOUR LIFETIME.

                            THRIFTY's avatar - darth vader-face.jpeg
                            NEW YORK
                            United States
                            Member #90537
                            April 29, 2010
                            3339 Posts
                            Offline
                            Posted: April 8, 2014, 2:16 pm - IP Logged

                            "The Post found six of the top 10 prolific winners were store clerks or owners."

                            There's your smoking gun. Think about how many tickets pass through their hands every day. A couple clerks who play, sure, but 6 of the top 10 winners?

                            Sell all lottery tickets through the Internet.

                            US Flag 

                            YOU WILL NEVER WIN A LOTTERY JACKPOT IN YOUR LIFETIME.