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Thieves uncover hole in Okla. lottery planning

Oklahoma LotteryOklahoma Lottery: Thieves uncover hole in Okla. lottery planning

A flaw in security allowed thieves to steal lottery tickets from an Oklahoma store and redeem them before lottery officials could deactivate the ticket identification codes.

The Oklahoma Lottery Commission says it will soon hire "security people" working beyond the regular hours of the commission office to prevent stolen lottery tickets from being cashed.

Last Tuesday thieves robbed a Norman convenience store of its supply of tickets about 5 a.m.. The store owner said she tried to call the commission right away so it could deactivate the tickets, but she said no one was answering the phone.

Lottery Director James Scroggins acknowledged the office wasn't staffed at night and that "we do need a mechanism to notify Scientific Games (the state's provider of lottery games) immediately."

Gov. Brad Henry promised Oklahomans when he proposed the lottery that it would be done properly.

The lottery commission's first misstep was when they failed to restrict lottery ticket sales from pawn shops and payday check cashers. The commission board corrected that after the lottery began Oct. 12.

Now the security hole brings another error to light, as the lottery does not have sufficient security people in place to prevent stolen tickets from being cashed, something that most, if not all, state lotteries put in place before the lottery begins ticket sales.

The thieves would have been limited in the amount they could have collected from the stolen tickets because prizes of more than $600 require collection from the commission office.  Also, a lottery ticket vendor may have been suspicious of someone trying to redeem many tickets at once.

The thieves probably did not profit a great deal from the stolen tickets, and they were deactivated once the commission office was opened and notified.

The oversight or delay raises issues as to the overall planning of the lottery, as well as the budgetary planning process that was employed.

Scroggins, who came to Oklahoma after 13 years with the Missouri lottery, received a $25,000 bonus for getting the instant lottery ticket sales going by October.

Lottery Post Staff

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8 comments. Last comment 11 years ago by Drivedabizness.
Page 1 of 1
bellyache's avatar - 64x64a9wg

United States
Member #12618
March 18, 2005
2060 Posts
Offline
Posted: November 1, 2005, 11:59 am - IP Logged

Well at least they deactivated the tickets so if these theives had won they wouldn't be able to collect.

Dance like no one is watching.

    Avatar
    Sparta, NJ
    United States
    Member #18331
    July 9, 2005
    1977 Posts
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    Posted: November 1, 2005, 12:40 pm - IP Logged

    Obviously, they didn't award the bonus for exceptional directorship or planning ability. 13+ years in the business and never considered after hours theft. Thank the gods he never led a combat unit. How do I know he never led one? He is still alve!

    Cheers

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

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


      United States
      Member #379
      June 5, 2002
      11296 Posts
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      Posted: November 1, 2005, 2:42 pm - IP Logged

      Maybe Oklahoma should have started its lottery later rather than "Sooner". But I'm glad to have been there on opening day, even though I lost $5.

        wreakshavok777's avatar - enzyte thumb.jpg
        oklahoma
        United States
        Member #12313
        March 10, 2005
        165 Posts
        Offline
        Posted: November 1, 2005, 9:20 pm - IP Logged

        I Wonder If there was really that many Winners in all those scratchers to matter....The most I have won out of a handful was $4.00. Hopefully After a while there will be more or a choice of different scratchers, if you like that sort of game. I'm holding out for some Lotto ..and powerball pick 3 etc. Haven't heard anything on what type of Lotto we will have.

         Winner Winner Chicken Dinner!!

          Avatar
          New Member
          Tennessee
          United States
          Member #3596
          February 3, 2004
          13 Posts
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          Posted: November 1, 2005, 9:30 pm - IP Logged

          I am a lottery retailer in TN, and we didn't have 24-hour on-call security people until after the first few cases of stolen tickets.  It may make for bad PR, but it really isn't worth the expense of staffing the phones 24-365 for the limited chance of stolen tickets being validated.  Plus, in the one instance of stolen tickets that I am familiar with, the lottery intentionally allowed a pack of stolen tickets to remain activated so that the thieves would go all across the county cashing in tickets, and it wasn't long before they went somewhere with a really good camera system, and were easily identified and arrested.

           

          Of course, like most other state lotteries, the retailers learned all of this the hard way.  It is frustrating when they stress during training for us to immediately report stolen tickets, and then you find out security works banker's hours.

            Avatar
            Sparta, NJ
            United States
            Member #18331
            July 9, 2005
            1977 Posts
            Offline
            Posted: November 1, 2005, 9:53 pm - IP Logged

            I am a lottery retailer in TN, and we didn't have 24-hour on-call security people until after the first few cases of stolen tickets.  It may make for bad PR, but it really isn't worth the expense of staffing the phones 24-365 for the limited chance of stolen tickets being validated.  Plus, in the one instance of stolen tickets that I am familiar with, the lottery intentionally allowed a pack of stolen tickets to remain activated so that the thieves would go all across the county cashing in tickets, and it wasn't long before they went somewhere with a really good camera system, and were easily identified and arrested.

             

            Of course, like most other state lotteries, the retailers learned all of this the hard way.  It is frustrating when they stress during training for us to immediately report stolen tickets, and then you find out security works banker's hours.

            Security is never worth the expense until you have been robbed. Quality is never worth the expense until tires start falling off the wheels. SATs were never worth it until students could not fill out an enterance exam. Carrying a cell phone is never worth the expense until the car breaks down on a dark road in a high crime area.  Stocking canned food and bottled water is never worth it, until there is none available - like after a hurricane; or a terrorist attack. 

            Any excuse is a good excuse. The problem: They are only excuses for incompetence!

            Cheers

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

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


              United States
              Member #379
              June 5, 2002
              11296 Posts
              Offline
              Posted: November 2, 2005, 10:28 am - IP Logged

              I am a lottery retailer in TN, and we didn't have 24-hour on-call security people until after the first few cases of stolen tickets.  It may make for bad PR, but it really isn't worth the expense of staffing the phones 24-365 for the limited chance of stolen tickets being validated.  Plus, in the one instance of stolen tickets that I am familiar with, the lottery intentionally allowed a pack of stolen tickets to remain activated so that the thieves would go all across the county cashing in tickets, and it wasn't long before they went somewhere with a really good camera system, and were easily identified and arrested.

               

              Of course, like most other state lotteries, the retailers learned all of this the hard way.  It is frustrating when they stress during training for us to immediately report stolen tickets, and then you find out security works banker's hours.

              Security is never worth the expense until you have been robbed. Quality is never worth the expense until tires start falling off the wheels. SATs were never worth it until students could not fill out an enterance exam. Carrying a cell phone is never worth the expense until the car breaks down on a dark road in a high crime area.  Stocking canned food and bottled water is never worth it, until there is none available - like after a hurricane; or a terrorist attack. 

              Any excuse is a good excuse. The problem: They are only excuses for incompetence!

              Many times we learn when it's too late. The same probably will happen with NC.

                Avatar
                Northern California
                United States
                Member #19948
                August 9, 2005
                151 Posts
                Offline
                Posted: November 2, 2005, 11:42 am - IP Logged

                When you're just starting up, this kind of flap is simply unconscionable.  Part of it is a lack of PR management - "we haven't hired security people yet"??? Are you kidding me?  A lottery's biggest asset is its integrity - I certainly thought Scroggins was smarter than this but now I have real doubts.

                 

                On the other hand, I doubt the store even knew they were strolen at 5 a.m.