Statistician cracks secret code behind lottery tickets
Is the apparent randomness of the scratch ticket just a facade, a mathematical lie?
The call came around 3 a.m. Toronto time, which was midnight in Nevada where Doug Hartzell was sleeping. It was his old friend, Mohan Srivastava, phoning from Canada.
He called me and said, 'Man, I think I'm losing it. But I see a pattern in scratch lottery tickets,' said Hartzell, recalling that 2003 conversation.
My reaction almost instantly was like: I'm sure he's right.
Over their three decades ...
Feb 2, 2011, 1:40 pm - Lottery News forum
Lottery winner charged in tax conspiracy
In February 2008, Kendrick D. Francis won a 10,000-to-one bet on the Pennsylvania Lottery's Big 4 game for a payday of $532,000.
But, federal prosecutors in Delaware said, that apparently wasn't enough for Francis, a Wilmington resident, who then conspired with a convenience-store operator to hide his winnings and make it appear a number of other people had won instead to avoid federal taxes.
This month, the U.S. Attorney's Office for Delaware filed felony conspiracy and tax evasion charge ...
Jan 26, 2011, 4:01 pm - Lottery News forum
States look for winning formulas to spur lottery sales
Buy a scratch lottery ticket in Georgia, and you can win music downloads or a seat at an Atlanta Falcons game. In New York, one of the top sellers is an all-black ticket as sleek as an Armani suit. And in Texas, where they brag that everything is bigger, a single ticket goes for $50.
With state budgets in crisis and lottery-financed programs like prekindergarten being considered for cuts, the pressure is on to make lottery tickets more attractive to casual scratchers and people who may have n ...
Dec 23, 2010, 7:37 pm - Lottery News forum
Mobster caught by tracing lottery ticket
A notorious Italian mobster who dodged justice for 20 years was reportedly finally under lock and key overnight after he was traced via a lottery ticket.
Convicted double killer Riccardo Piras went on the run in the late 1980s before he could be locked up for life for the brutal murders of two drug dealers.
One victim's corpse was reportedly dissolved in acid, while the other was tossed on a garbage dump as a chilling warning to rival gangs.
Piras, 59, evaded capture for two decades but ...
Dec 9, 2010, 7:33 am - Lottery News forum
Nigerian lottery scammer sentenced to 14 years
A Nigerian man who swindled three Californians out of more than $400,000 by demanding tax on bogus foreign lottery winnings was sentenced Tuesday to 14 years in federal prison. The people who typically fall for such scams are older, sometimes people who have dementia and are lonely and need someone to talk to, an assistant U.S. attorney said.
One of Emmanuel I. Onwuzulike's victims, a San Fernando Valley woman, lost her home after she paid more than $368,000 for a phony tax on what she though ...
Dec 2, 2010, 6:33 am - Lottery News forum
Photos, evidence released in case of murdered Florida lottery winner
Gruesome photos of the mummified body of a slain Florida lottery winner are among mountains of evidence released this week by the Hillsborough County State Attorney's office.
More than 20 discs containing photos, videos and other documents were released in the case against Dorice DeeDee Moore, who is charged with first-degree murder in the death of Abraham Shakespeare of Lakeland.
Moore was indicted by a grand jury in March after Shakespeare's body was discovered last January. The remains ...
Nov 25, 2010, 8:25 am - Lottery News forum
Florida woman accused of running personal lottery
A mother who solicited her neighbors for cash with the promise of a $500 prize was arrested Saturday and charged with leading an illegal lottery, authorities said.
Tina Marie Bell, 47, had her daughter fill mailboxes with letters asking residents to send $5 entrance fees for a chance at the winnings, according to a Pasco County Sheriff's Office report. All money was to be sent to Bell's home on Rainbow Lane.
A neighbor asked the Sheriff's Office if the lottery was a scam, and a deputy resp ...
Nov 2, 2010, 8:31 am - Lottery News forum
Lover found lottery winner's body
A lottery winner who hanged himself in his Leicestershire home in central England was found by a live-in lover his family had no idea existed, an inquest has heard.
Richard Lang died at his house in Broughton Astley, Leicestershire on May 18. The 31-year-old had won 867,454 in the U.K. National Lottery in 2005.
On Wednesday an inquest at Leicester Town Hall heard he was found by Joshua Jones, who told police he was in a relationship with the British Waterways worker.
But the inquest hea ...
Oct 30, 2010, 10:45 am - Lottery News forum
Couple, son charged in Detroit illegal lottery
They went searching for drugs, but discovered a major gambling operation instead.
A federal judge in Detroit today unsealed a criminal complaint detailing a large-scale, multi-state gambling operation allegedly run by an elderly Detroit couple that for decades has operated out of coney island restaurants, storefronts and homes in the Detroit area.
According to the complaint, federal agents stumbled upon the gambling operation in 2007 when they went to execute a search warrant at a Farmingt ...
Oct 13, 2010, 9:22 pm - Lottery News forum
MasterCard illegally adds fees to Lottery players
All you need is a dollar and a dream to play the Lottery, except if you're paying with MasterCard then it's an extra 10 bucks.
The credit card company has quietly been treating subscription purchases of Lotto or Mega Millions tickets as cash advances making them subject to an extra fee.
MasterCard is also charging higher cash advance level interest on the Lottery ticket purchases, as much as 24.9% percent in some cases.
That, too, is a no-no, Lottery officials said.
Sep 17, 2010, 8:51 pm - Lottery News forum