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Wisconsin couple to be investigated for excessive lottery wins

May 12, 2005, 10:10 am

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Wisconsin LotteryWisconsin Lottery: Wisconsin couple to be investigated for excessive lottery wins

A state lawmaker has asked for an audit to determine how a Bonduel, Wisconsin couple won three dozen second-chance state lottery drawings since 2000.

In 5½ years, Jeffrey B. and Lisa M. Hintz have won more than $40,000 in second-chance drawings, including $5,000 from five consecutive weekly drawings this March and April.

Since 2000, they've won another $26,000 from scratch-off tickets, other lottery games and the lottery's since-canceled television game show. In all, they have collected more than $68,000 during that time, according to records compiled by state Rep. David Cullen (D-Milwaukee).

Cullen said those winnings seem out of line and that an audit would ensure people maintain their faith in the lottery.

"You win that (second-chance drawing) for four or five weeks in a row, that becomes fairly improbable, (though) not impossible. . . . I just think the public needs to know that if we're running a lottery, that it's fair," he said Monday.

The couple's most recent winning streak started March 24, when they won $1,000 from the Super Second Chance drawing. They won $1,000 on each of the next four Thursdays.

WTMJ-TV (Channel 4) first reported the couple's spate of winnings last week. The Hintzes did not return calls.

Andrew Bohage, a lottery spokesman, said lottery officials started looking into the matter in April, after the couple won the second-chance drawing for the second straight week. No problems have been found, he said.

Agency employees have confirmed the winning entries are valid. Bohage said that they are reviewing internal procedures and checking with retailers to make sure no tickets have been stolen.

Cullen said he would prefer to see an independent review of the matter.

State Auditor Janice Mueller said she would wait until lottery officials concluded their inquiry before deciding whether to look into the matter.

Every week, the lottery randomly picks 10 people who mail in losing tickets, awarding each winner $1,000. The person who draws the entries is blindfolded and is accompanied by a Capitol police officer and an independent auditor.

The lottery receives about 70,000 entries a week, meaning the chances of winning per entry per week are roughly 1 in 7,000. Winning multiple times is far less likely.

People can enter as often as they like, and with each entry their chances of winning rise. Each entry must include $5 in losing tickets, so someone with $20 in losing tickets could enter four times.

There is no prohibition on sending in tickets found on the street or in garbage cans, Bohage said.

People with access to numerous losing tickets, such as retailers, are not barred from entering the second-chance sweepstakes.

Bohage said that the second-chance drawings have a "niche audience" and that people often enter multiple times. Lottery officials have not checked how many entries the Hintzes submitted in recent weeks, he said.

Officials also have not determined whether others have won an unusually high number of second-chance games.

Cullen's records, which Bohage called accurate, show the Hintzes have won second-chance drawings 36 times since 2000, in amounts ranging from $750 to $3,000. While the Super Second Chance has only $1,000 prizes, earlier second-chance games had prizes of other amounts.

For other games, their largest single winning came in December 2004, when Lisa Hintz won $5,000 on the Pick 4 game.

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

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18 comments. Last comment 16 years ago by LOTTOMIKE.
Page 1 of 2
United States
Member #1424
April 25, 2003
696 Posts

The idea that someone might actually win one of those drawings is frightening to lottery officials.  We are just supposed to pay up and shut up.


    BabyJC's avatar - Lottery-031.jpg

    United States
    Member #3271
    January 7, 2004
    148 Posts

    I agree!  Before I read the article, I was thinking it was going to be big money, but we're talking in the under $100,000 category (total).  It goes to show you that human nature is that people are jealous, not happy for others!  LOL  I don't know how many times on TV I've seen the same people win $1 million twice or more on scratch tickets & slot machines.  Happens a lot!

      Greenwich, CT
      United States
      Member #4793
      May 24, 2004
      1822 Posts

      I'd like to know how many tickets they submitted...and what proportion their tickets are to the total number of tickets in the drawings.

        LANTERN's avatar - kilroy 28_173_reasonably_small.jpg
        United States
        Member #4570
        May 4, 2004
        5180 Posts

        Well, they can investigate all that they want to; What are they going to find ?

        Maybe 2 very smart people.

        There will always be lottery loopholes and it's up to us to find them if we can.

        BibleOnline  ParishesOnline  ChristianRadioOnline   MassOnline   Mass

        "Ten measures of beauty descended to the world, nine were taken by Jerusalem."


          United States
          Member #1826
          July 11, 2003
          2645 Posts

          I would stick to the scratch tickets from now on. The numbers games in WI can no longer be trusted.

          (insert signature here)


            United States
            Member #972
            December 30, 2002
            468 Posts

            I'm sure they sent in a lot of entries. I wonder if the lottery audit will make public how many. 

            When Massachusetts had a similar 2nd chance drawings from losing scratch tickets, I sent in about 500 (not by mail, boxes in the stores) so I know how if gets to pick up every ticket you find and enter it.  I noticed some people won 5 times or more, sometimes more than once the same week, while I won nothing even with all the entries I was sending in.  It gave me a theory about these type drawings.  I assume that in Wisconsin they did not have all 7000 entries in the drum or bag that the person picked from - that they had some type of preliminary process to get the entries down to managable number. My theory is that this weeding process is done by tossing and keeping whole mailbags, not by a random mix from all entries.  If a person sends in 50 entries at once and they all end up in the same mailbag and that mailbag is picked for the entries that make it through to the final drawing, then the person who sent in 50 isn't randomly distributed and has a much better chance than they deserve at being a winner. 

              United States
              Member #1610
              June 3, 2003
              668 Posts

              they must have spent a lot for postage stamps

              Discover Wisconsin

              ... the lottery never fails to surprise!
                RJOh's avatar - chipmunk
                United States
                Member #9
                March 24, 2001
                20272 Posts

                20+ years ago, Ohio had the same problems with their second chance draws.  It seems most of the winners were postal workers from their local main post office.  It turned out the postal workers made sure their entrances were at the top of the mail bags they delivered to the lottery office and the lottery people were picking the winners from the top of the mail bags thinking the mail bags were naturally mixed.  They tried to say the postal workers cheated by stacking the mail bags in their favor.  I never did learn if they starting picking from deeper in the mail bags for future drawings.


                 * you don't need to buy every combination, just the winning ones * 

                Thumbs Up       

                  whodeani's avatar - lightening

                  United States
                  Member #2484
                  October 9, 2003
                  212 Posts

                  I have yet to win one of those darn drawings. I have sent anywhere from 50-200 entries for one drawing and haven't won jack. If it is legit, maybe their luck will have now run out now.

                  Wisconsin does need to do something with the entry process though. The stamps do get to be expensive. Either have an entry box at a retailer like one other member mentioned or have an online entry option.


                    United States
                    Member #1826
                    July 11, 2003
                    2645 Posts

                    PA, nor FL (my native home), has many second-chance drawings.

                    (insert signature here)

                      four4me's avatar - gate1
                      United States
                      Member #1701
                      June 18, 2003
                      9785 Posts

                      There are all kind of tricks of the trade to mailing in on games like this. like making your letter the most outrageious color or placing  stickers on them and other similar tricks ............. the idea is to make it stand out so it might catch the pickers eye.




                      Big John says. You don't hit the number. The number hits you!!!!

                                     I'm not Big John, I'm Four4me, Big John's a friend.
                        United States
                        Member #7853
                        October 15, 2004
                        11350 Posts

                        first computerized drawings now this....shame on you wisconsin

                          time*treat's avatar - radar

                          United States
                          Member #13130
                          March 30, 2005
                          2171 Posts

                          bet you won't be hearing about "investigations" of those THOUSANDS of people who LOSE excessively.

                          In neo-conned Amerika, bank robs you.
                          Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms should be the name of a convenience store, not a govnoment agency.

                            Littleoldlady's avatar - basket
                            United States
                            Member #487
                            July 15, 2002
                            17638 Posts

                            I don't know how they draw but they should use a rolling large drum with a handle on it so the tickets can be mixed very well.  they used to have little drawings in the lottery places around here like that..it seemed to me then as now that the same people win all of the time..so I quit putting my losing tickets in there..

                            If you know your number is going to hit, have patience and then KILL IT!

                            You never know when you will get another hit.