LANDMARK: Could we be seeing the beginning of the end of computerized lottery drawings?
Lottery Post sincerely hopes so, and hopefully we have had a part to play in the genesis of this important bill. We encourage all of our readers to support this bill, and identify it throughout the United States as a model for every state to follow.
A bipartisan duo of lawmakers said Wednesday they intend to push a bill to require the Delaware state lottery to abandon a computer that picks winning lottery numbers.
House Majority Leader Wayne A. Smith, R-Clair Manor, and Sen. Nancy W. Cook, D-Kenton, also want the drawings to be televised live. They said confidence in the lottery has suffered since the computer replaced a mechanical ball-drawing system and the live airing of drawings was dropped.
Since 1996, the lottery has replaced the mechanical apparatus and assigned all lottery drawings to the computer. The live TV broadcasts, which cost about $400,000 a year, were abandoned in June 2002 because, lottery officials said, only 7 percent of lottery players watched them on any given night.
"The lack of a live drawing is creating a public confidence issue with some of my constituents ... who want to witness a mechanical drawing system with their own eyes," Smith said.
Nobody has won a Delaware Lotto jackpot since February of last year, allowing the top prize to grow to a record $7.2 million as of Wednesday night's drawing. According to Smith and Cook, that lag has heightened concerns among constituents.
"The lack of confidence could be a financial issue for the state," Smith said of the lottery, which contributed $220 million to the state's general fund during the fiscal year that ended June 30.
Smith said he didn't question the integrity of lottery director Wayne Lemons and his staff, but that the state cannot afford to chase away lottery players.
On Wednesday, Lemons acknowledged persistent complaints from lottery players about the computer-selected numbers and the lack of a televised drawing. But he said he had no plans to go back to the old system. He said 15 of the 42 states that operate lotteries use computers to draw winning numbers for at least one of their games.
Lottery Post urges all of our readers to sign the important Petition for True Lottery Drawings to show your support of this important measure. Make your voice heard!