Welcome Guest
Log In | Register )
The time is now 9:49 am
You last visited September 30, 2014, 9:49 am
All times shown are
Eastern Time (GMT-5:00)

Florida Lottery announces changes in response to reports of repeat winners

Florida LotteryFlorida Lottery: Florida Lottery announces changes in response to reports of repeat winners
52
Rating:

The Florida Lottery on Tuesday announced that it would adopt several safeguards to prevent fraud and protect players.

The announcement follows a Palm Beach Post investigation published Sunday that revealed that many players may be winning big prizes too often. It also comes as legislators consider taking more control of the lottery by placing it under a gambling commission.

The lottery will adopt software to track frequent winners in real time, roll out more self-checking terminals at its outlets and name stores where clerks have stolen winning tickets, lottery Secretary Cynthia O'Connell said in a statement to The Post.

"For us to succeed in our mission, we have to ensure that activities conducted by the lottery are transparent and free of fraud," she wrote.

Gov. Rick Scott, whose office oversees the lottery and appoints the lottery secretary, echoed her statement, telling The Post 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."

Sen. Maria Sachs, vice chairwoman of the Senate Gaming Committee and an advocate of more legislative control of the lottery, told The Post: "What your investigation has shown is that we need greater oversight."

The Post showed that about 200 people were defying lottery odds over the last decade to cash in tens or hundreds of winning tickets worth $600 or more. One Pompano Beach man was credited with collecting $719,000 from 252 winning lottery tickets in a six-year span.

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

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.

While The Post's analysis of public records couldn't determine whether crimes have been committed, the lottery, which could, was paying little attention.

Last week, the lottery acknowledged for the first time that it conducted undercover stings, an action The Post wrote is usually well-publicized in other states to deter theft or black-market sale of winning tickets.

In the stings, the lottery has agents pose as customers and ask clerks to scan their tickets to check for winners — a common request by customers.

They've caught 19 people stealing tickets, but never announced those arrests.

The Florida Lottery now will name the stores where clerks are convicted of stealing tickets. O'Connell said the move should deter clerks and give customers confidence in stores.

The lottery also will roll out more self-checking terminals. Only 54 percent of outlets have the machines, which let customers check tickets themselves, rather than relying on clerks, to determine if they have a winner. Other lotteries have found that some clerks lie to customers, telling them they had no winners while pocketing winning tickets.

O'Connell did not say how many more stores would get the machines.

In another change prompted by The Post's story, the lottery will adopt software to track frequent winners in real time.

Sachs, D-Delray Beach, has been an advocate of folding the lottery into a state gambling 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.

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

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.

But O'Connell did not announce any changes to the way store clerks and owners play or how they report their winnings.

Palm Beach Post

We'd love to see your comments here!  Register for a FREE membership — it takes just a few moments — and you'll be able to post comments here and on any of our forums. If you're already a member, you can Log In to post a comment.

57 comments. Last comment 6 months ago by mypiemaster.
Page 1 of 4
mypiemaster's avatar - peace
He who dies with the most toys WINS!!!.

United States
Member #141039
April 2, 2013
722 Posts
Offline
Posted: April 3, 2014, 9:15 am - IP Logged

Excuses, excuses, excuses. Tell us something we don't know already.Thumbs Down

Seekand ye shall find -Matt. 7:7 ...Ask and ye shall receive -John 16:24 ...Give and it shall be given unto you -Luke 6:38 ...Be careful what you ask for!!! -Mypiemaster 1:1

Having Money Solves Problems That Not Having Money Creates Yes Nod ****John Carlton****

    Jon D's avatar - calotterylogo
    Los Angeles, California
    United States
    Member #103816
    January 5, 2011
    1530 Posts
    Offline
    Posted: April 3, 2014, 10:45 am - IP Logged

    This problem is common to many states: where owners, clerks and their relatives are among the most prolific winners.

    The problem is because "Store clerks and employees can play the lottery without restriction." THEY SHOULDN'T BE ALLOWED TO PLAY!!!

    It will continue to be a problem, and occasional stings and additional checking won't fix it. "They can't be checking the tickets to see if anybody won. They can't be playing," Correct.

    But part of the problem is the greed of the lottery, not wanting to give up the additional revenue from stores/clerks playing. They probably think any negative impact of theft/fraud by clerks is more than offset by the additional sales. Players need to let them know where to stick that.

    This is what they need to do:

    "Ontario, one of the largest lotteries in North America, doesn't allow clerks and owners to play at their own stores."

      Avatar
      Keokuk,Iowa
      United States
      Member #116508
      September 12, 2011
      305 Posts
      Offline
      Posted: April 3, 2014, 10:57 am - IP Logged

      This problem is common to many states: where owners, clerks and their relatives are among the most prolific winners.

      The problem is because "Store clerks and employees can play the lottery without restriction." THEY SHOULDN'T BE ALLOWED TO PLAY!!!

      It will continue to be a problem, and occasional stings and additional checking won't fix it. "They can't be checking the tickets to see if anybody won. They can't be playing," Correct.

      But part of the problem is the greed of the lottery, not wanting to give up the additional revenue from stores/clerks playing. They probably think any negative impact of theft/fraud by clerks is more than offset by the additional sales. Players need to let them know where to stick that.

      This is what they need to do:

      "Ontario, one of the largest lotteries in North America, doesn't allow clerks and owners to play at their own stores."

      I Agree!  The temptation of easy money is just to great for SOME clerks to ignore.Most clerks are as honset as the day is long,but a few are rotten to the core,Banning them from playing the lottery at their place of work is the only way to keep them honest.

        helpmewin's avatar - dandy
        u$a
        United States
        Member #106669
        February 22, 2011
        17268 Posts
        Offline
        Posted: April 3, 2014, 11:09 am - IP Logged

        Thank you Florida Lottery Smiley

                         

          Marilyn222's avatar - 528509 449915025049782_794386330_n.jpg
          Denver
          United States
          Member #117688
          October 12, 2011
          429 Posts
          Offline
          Posted: April 3, 2014, 11:17 am - IP Logged

          Yawn...what's new?

            jjtheprince's avatar - DiscoBallGlowing
            St. Louis, MO
            United States
            Member #106138
            February 13, 2011
            283 Posts
            Offline
            Posted: April 3, 2014, 12:15 pm - IP Logged

            I'm glad they're busting cheats!

              noise-gate's avatar - images q=tbn:ANd9GcR91HDs4UJhjxO7cmeMQWZ5lB_FOcMLOGicau4V74R45tDgPWrr
              Bay Area/ California
              United States
              Member #136482
              December 12, 2012
              2039 Posts
              Offline
              Posted: April 3, 2014, 12:21 pm - IP Logged

              I'm glad they're busting cheats!

              What l would like to know is" Have any of these Cheating Vendor's ever won MM/PB jackpots?".. or have been flying below the radar.
              Some of these Vendors have been feeding off the unfortunate players rightfully earned winnings like a Coyote feeds off a buffalo carcass **

                LottoMetro's avatar - Lottery-024.jpg
                Happyland
                United States
                Member #146350
                September 1, 2013
                602 Posts
                Offline
                Posted: April 3, 2014, 12:46 pm - IP Logged

                I saw The Post's investigation and it said that when they confronted the top winner (the guy who won on 252 tickets), he had no clue what they were talking about and says he has never won. The IRS is coming after him for taxes on winnings too. He wasn't a clerk, but the store he used to hang out at all the time was one of those that were shut down.

                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: +20.00% (13 tickets)

                  lottolaughs's avatar - avatar 3824.gif
                  California
                  United States
                  Member #40295
                  May 31, 2006
                  6391 Posts
                  Offline
                  Posted: April 3, 2014, 1:48 pm - IP Logged

                  I played the lottery every day when I worked in a liquor store selling tickets back in the 90's. My boss would always buy the "mistake" tickets. Of course the bad apples always upset the cart sooner or later. Too bad.

                  The lottery sounds like it's turning into a casino...throwing out people who win too much,lol. Cheating and scamming people out of their wins is one thing but if you're a "lucky" player who happens to win often then I guess you're under the eyeball too.

                    RJOh's avatar - chipmunk
                    mid-Ohio
                    United States
                    Member #9
                    March 24, 2001
                    17903 Posts
                    Offline
                    Posted: April 3, 2014, 3:08 pm - IP Logged

                    I played the lottery every day when I worked in a liquor store selling tickets back in the 90's. My boss would always buy the "mistake" tickets. Of course the bad apples always upset the cart sooner or later. Too bad.

                    The lottery sounds like it's turning into a casino...throwing out people who win too much,lol. Cheating and scamming people out of their wins is one thing but if you're a "lucky" player who happens to win often then I guess you're under the eyeball too.

                    Maybe some of these players winning systems will be exposed and they'll lose their edge.

                    * you don't need more tickets, just the right ticket * 
                    * your best chance at winning a lottery jackpot is to buy a ticket * 
                         Wink 

                      Avatar
                      New Member
                      Bikini bottom Nc
                      United States
                      Member #153573
                      March 19, 2014
                      16 Posts
                      Offline
                      Posted: April 3, 2014, 4:30 pm - IP Logged

                      NOW LETS SEE A POWERBALL JACKPOT WIN IN NORTH CAROLINA. FOUR

                      YEAR DROUGHT HERE.Rant

                      The boy-who-lived. How lies have fed your legend, Harry!

                        Technics's avatar - 2techroyale2blk1
                        USA
                        United States
                        Member #80332
                        September 24, 2009
                        38325 Posts
                        Offline
                        Posted: April 3, 2014, 8:52 pm - IP Logged

                        God forbid if people win.....we cant have winners.........lol. Green laugh

                          grwurston's avatar - Lottery-012.jpg
                          Goal. $1,500 a week.
                          bel air maryland
                          United States
                          Member #90253
                          April 24, 2010
                          2410 Posts
                          Offline
                          Posted: April 3, 2014, 9:02 pm - IP Logged

                          God forbid if people win.....we cant have winners.........lol. Green laugh

                          Everyone here is trying to "crack the code".  If you do, don't do it in Florida. But then, if you do it legitimally it's not cheating.

                          Right?  But try telling them that...   Thumbs Down

                          "You can observe a lot just by watching."  Yogi Berra, Hall of Fame baseball player.

                          The numbers will tell you what numbers to play. Pay attention to the numbers.


                            United States
                            Member #150377
                            December 20, 2013
                            452 Posts
                            Offline
                            Posted: April 3, 2014, 9:51 pm - IP Logged

                            Everyone here is trying to "crack the code".  If you do, don't do it in Florida. But then, if you do it legitimally it's not cheating.

                            Right?  But try telling them that...   Thumbs Down

                            This isn't a news story. Just adding to this story. Todd don't suspend me

                            check dis out