Welcome Guest
Log In | Register )
You last visited May 27, 2017, 3:54 am
All times shown are
Eastern Time (GMT-5:00)

Lottery gadfly not betting on getting top post

Texas LotteryTexas Lottery: Lottery gadfly not betting on getting top post

Some say she's a watchdog; others say she's a nuisance

Dawn Nettles has a job interview Friday, but she figures the odds are against her.

"They're not going to hire me," the 54-year-old Garland woman said. "They hate me with a passion."

"They" refers to the Texas Lottery Commission and Gtech Corp., the company that operates the lottery for the state. The commission is seeking an executive director to replace Reagan Greer, who resigned in July after admitting he had signed off on advertising inflated jackpots. Ms. Nettles says she's the one who brought the discrepancy to light.

"The Lottery Commission is in a lot of trouble," she said. "Just hiring me would give them credibility."

Demure she isn't. What she is, there are a lot of opinions about.

To some, she is an independent lottery expert, a watchdog who looks out for the players' interests. To others she is a nuisance, a nitpicking critic who is impossible to please.

Lottery Commission spokesman Bobby Heith says Ms. Nettles is a serious candidate for the job, one of only eight of the more than 110 applicants to get this far.

"I guess you could consider her a critic, but she has been helpful with some of her criticism," Mr. Heith said. "She calls things to our attention."

Like minor errors on the commission's Web site. And that letter she wrote to the attorney general in June about the inflated jackpot estimates.

Dawn Nettles, who publishes the Lotto Report, opposed the Lottery Commission's decision to increase sales by making it tougher to win. 'People want to see winners,' she says."It's something we discovered first. But her letter brought media attention to the situation," Mr. Heith said. "The resignation of Executive Director Greer followed about a month after that. That was one of the things going on at that time. Whether it was a direct cause, I'm not sure."

State Rep. Ismael "Kino" Flores, D-Mission, chairman of the House committee that oversees the Lottery Commission, said Ms. Nettles has a "full understanding of the operations of the lottery" and should be a serious candidate for the job.

"A lot of people think her role has been negative, but I don't, because a lot of the things she has said have proven true," Mr. Flores said.

Newsletter publisher

Ms. Nettles and her husband, an airline pilot, have been married for 28 years. They have three daughters, five grandchildren and a yellow Lab named Shelby. Her husband used to race dirt bikes, and they still ride them for fun.

She wanted to be her own boss, so she got into the publishing business with Unexaggerated Homes, a real estate magazine that she said set itself apart because there were no adjectives in it. It published from 1979 to 1993.

Then she switched to Lotto Report, which she runs from her home, because she thought it would be easier. The report – a record of every winning number and combination of numbers in all the lottery's games – comes out every two weeks, electronically and in print.

About 3,500 subscribers pay $19.75 for a six-month subscription or $37.50 for a year. Some – "die-hard players," she calls them – have been with her from the beginning.

When the lottery first came to Texas, she was a big fan.

"I voted for it," she said. "I was all for it. I love games of chance."

But things started going downhill, as she sees it, in the late 1990s. She adamantly opposed the commission's decision to add balls to the game on the theory that greater odds would mean fewer winners, bigger jackpots and more sales.

"They designed the game so nobody could win it," Ms. Nettles said.

Now, she says, Pick 3 is the only commission game that's still a good play. And she picks her spots.

"I don't play a lot," she said. "That's how come I'm ahead."

'I'm banned from Gtech'

She figures she's ahead at the game but probably not in the race for the boss's chair.

"Gtech would fear my being there," she said. "I'm banned from Gtech."

She said she fell out with the international gaming company that runs the lottery for the state when she questioned the legitimacy of a customer survey and company officials denied her request for a tour of their facility.

Robert Vincent, Gtech's vice president for corporate communications, has a different take.

"From what I'm told by our representatives in Texas, she sought access to secure areas that are off-limits to the public," Mr. Vincent said. "It was not specific to her. No one would have been allowed to go there."

As for the chances of her becoming the new boss at the Lottery Commission?

"We don't have an opinion about her one way or the other," Mr. Vincent said. "We don't take stands on who's going to be appointed to the commission. That's not our responsibility."

How would things be different at the lottery if Ms. Nettles gets the job?

"I would analyze from the inside first," she said.

She says retailers and players are dissatisfied, and she would address that to get sales up.

"There would be fair games of chance and fair payouts," she said. "We would create winners. The more winners, the more they spend."

She says, "If the state of Texas would like to restore trust and integrity, they will hire me in a second."

Demure, she isn't.

Dallas Morning News

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.

7 comments. Last comment 12 years ago by CASH Only.
Page 1 of 1
Sparta, NJ
United States
Member #18331
July 9, 2005
1977 Posts
Posted: October 13, 2005, 10:04 am - IP Logged

She says, "If the state of Texas would like to restore trust and integrity, they will hire me in a second."

No Government official, or contractor to the Government, cares about anything except their own security. Integrity - hehehehe. That only applies to the don't get caught rule. Every time you turn around, some Senator is caught accepting a free trip when they should not have. There is always news about a Congressperson setting up a trust or lecture that they shouldn't. There is always some Olympic official getting a discount on a new boat. There is always some lottery head being caught snuggling up to a high bidder. It is is how the world works. In Europe and Asia, it is above board. In America, they hide it inder the table. Does any one care? Nope, just keep re-electing them so they can appoint someone else into a classy position.

Integrity, in a business dealling with B-I-G bucks every day, is a myth. It looks good until your caught. Fire some one, then back to the same old scenario. The last thing they need is a sour apple in the middle of the pie.


|||::> *'`*:-.,_,.-:*''*:--->>> Chewie  <<<---.*''*:-.,_,.-:*''* <:::|||

I only trust myself - and that's a questionable choice

    Rainmaker2k's avatar - voodoo
    Dallas, TX
    United States
    Member #5506
    July 8, 2004
    24 Posts
    Posted: October 13, 2005, 4:54 pm - IP Logged

    Dawn would be the perfect person to bring honesty and integrity back to the TLC.  I have been with her for a long time now and know of all the trials and tribulations she has encountered concerning Gtech and the TLC.  We tried to tell them we wanted to see more winners but they got greedy and made the game harder to win.  Me like most Texas players have cut back on the amount of money that I was spending on the lottery.  The best way to get their attention is not to play.  I wish Dawn all the luck in the world and I hope she get the job.

    It is better to open your eyes and say you don't understand, than to close your eyes and say you don't believe.

    George Clinton


      United States
      Member #1826
      July 11, 2003
      2645 Posts
      Posted: October 13, 2005, 6:38 pm - IP Logged

      She would make for a very interesting lottery director. Imagine what games she'd bring!

      (insert signature here)

        LANTERN's avatar - kilroy 28_173_reasonably_small.jpg
        United States
        Member #4570
        May 4, 2004
        5180 Posts
        Posted: October 14, 2005, 1:54 am - IP Logged

        I myself have no love for GTECH, they are not my friends either, I think that they are rotten thru and thru and as rotten as anybody can be. I am glad that they fear Nettles, they need to fear somebody.

        BibleOnline  ParishesOnline  ChristianRadioOnline   MassOnline   Mass

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

          Columbia City, Indiana
          United States
          Member #2978
          December 9, 2003
          381 Posts
          Posted: October 14, 2005, 4:16 pm - IP Logged

          Yes, I agree. As most of you know, Ms. Nettles runs LottoReport.com, and she's no more impressed with Indiana's methods and tactics than she is with the intricate gyrations of her own state lottery (Texas).

          I sent her a letter the other day outlining what LosingJeff and I have uncovered about the Hoosier Lottery. She hasn't replied yet, but she is a very active consumer advocate, so I'm willing to wait a while for her response.

          She brings up some very good points about the Texas lottery, and she's not about to let them get away with anything. She can see the writing on the wall, and means to head off the magical computer in Texas before they have a chance to draw a curtain around it. 

          From what I can see, Texas intends to model their own lottery after Indiana's. Following the inflated jackpots scandal (exposed by Ms. Nettles), they began to make noise about switching to computerized drawings "to save money and increase security." Ms. Nettles has been very outspoken against this concept, and she backs up her arguments with example after example to show why it's a bad idea.

          Those of you who don't know who Dawn Nettles is should visit her website. Very interesting and inspirational reading.

          Come, Pinky; we must prepare for tomorrow night...


            Sparta, NJ
            United States
            Member #18331
            July 9, 2005
            1977 Posts
            Posted: October 15, 2005, 8:21 am - IP Logged

            I myself have no love for GTECH, they are not my friends either, I think that they are rotten thru and thru and as rotten as anybody can be. I am glad that they fear Nettles, they need to fear somebody.

            I thought GTECH just provided the tools and the states, along with their self-appointed higharchy, do the decision making. Do you blame GMC because a drunk runs over some one? Do you blame Olympic Pools because a child drowns? Why blame GTECH, or any other outfit, for something that the Lotteryy Comissioners and Directors pay them to do? That is punishing corporations for proficiency.

            How do you think the usamega and lottery post sites came about? Because Todd wished and they happened? He put blood and sweat, and his money and time into these projects. He still works 26 hours a day to provide you information, you information, not himself.. He achieved what he felt needed to be achieved. He didn't sit back and blame Dell because the filesever was too small. He doesn't blame the state of Utah because they are slow with the information. He is out there searchjing, searching again, and searching some more to be the best and most accurate.

            If you want to point fingers at some one, look in the mirror and use both hands. You are a voter. YOU control what happens in a state. Either out of activism or lazziness. If the lottery in your state is inacceptable, and you spent last night in front of the tevevison set, then the fault starts with you.


            |||::> *'`*:-.,_,.-:*''*:--->>> Chewie  <<<---.*''*:-.,_,.-:*''* <:::|||

            I only trust myself - and that's a questionable choice

              United States
              Member #379
              June 5, 2002
              11296 Posts
              Posted: October 24, 2005, 1:04 pm - IP Logged

              We need somebody like Mrs Nettles to run the NY Lottery. Someone who would push for better NY Lotto payouts and a cash option on all scratch games.