Welcome Guest
Log In | Register )
You last visited May 16, 2022, 8:03 pm
All times shown are
Eastern Time (GMT-5:00)

Tenn. Lottery leaders offer look at future

Dec 5, 2005, 8:39 am

Share this news story on Facebook
Tweet this news story on Twitter
North Carolina LotteryNorth Carolina Lottery: Tenn. Lottery leaders offer look at future

As several N.C. lottery commissioners arrived in the lobby of Tennessee Lottery headquarters Friday, they saw the bright side of their job: a $1 million winner with his poster-board check.

The winner, country music drummer Bill Caylor, not surprisingly said he felt "like a million bucks," one commissioner said.

Minutes later, Tennessee Lottery officials spelled out the downside of launching a lottery. Starting Monday, the N.C. commissioners face a 120-day blitz of hiring, buying, signing up ticket-sellers and -- still -- fending off critics who say the lottery shouldn't exist.

"It's just now settling down," said Denny Bottorff, board chairman at the nearly 2-year-old Tennessee Lottery, "to where the talk is, 'Boy, things are really going well.' "

Tennessee, the lottery North Carolina will most closely be copying in its startup, presented both the promise and pain of launching four months after the director was hired.

Like Tennessee officials, N.C. officials have built incentives into the director's salary for an early start, with a target of the first week in April. Each additional day the lottery is up and running can amount to $1 million for education programs, so commissioners consider the $50,000 bonus the director would receive for getting it started by that deadline to be well worth the cost.

N.C. Lottery Director Tom Shaheen starts Monday, and he and the commission must hire a staff, outfit a headquarters, contract with retail outlets and install machines, among other tasks.

"You don't even have paper clips," said Rebecca Paul, Tennessee's lottery director, who has led four state games and started three. "The massive amounts of things you have to buy are mind-boggling."

Charles Sanders, chairman of the N.C. Lottery Commission, said he agrees the immediate tasks are daunting but not intimidating.

"There's nothing that's not doable about it," said Sanders, a former Glaxo chairman. "It's a very doable enterprise and there are people who know how to do it."

Commissioners got a slight reminder of the controversy and headaches already endured. Representatives from the two major lottery vendors that will compete for North Carolina's contract listened to Friday's session, including an employee of Scientific Games, which the state is investigating in connection with possible lobbying violations.

Lottery officials will sift through thousands of résumés for a couple hundred jobs that must be filled quickly.

"You'll be criticized for every short-term decision you make," Tennessee Lottery Chairman Bottorff said, predicting pressure to hire politicians' friends and family.

Retailers have to be signed up, their backgrounds checked, their machines or displays installed and their employees trained.

Tennessee officials showed off their $300,000 worth of security measures, including dozens of networked surveillance cameras at lottery offices and even the TV station storage room for the pingpong-ball machines used for selecting numbers. Employees who handle the balls must wear white cotton gloves to avoid getting oil on them.

Despite the financial incentives, N.C. Lottery Commissioner Jim Woodward cautioned against too much speed.

"I don't want to spend the next three years fixing a problem that got built into the structural organization because we started a week early," said Woodward, former UNC Charlotte chancellor.

North Carolina's lottery proceeds, expected to approach $400 million a year, will be funneled to prekindergarten programs, new teachers, new schools and college scholarships

Months down the road, Tennessee officials predicted, any sniping will die down when more 4-year-olds are attending pre-K and new schools are going up.

"The long-term goals," Sanders said, "are worth all the headaches that go with it."

In Tennessee

As of Sept. 30:

  • Tennessee Lottery has gross ticket sales of $1.5 billion, and $415 million has gone to education programs.
  • The state has introduced 71 instant-ticket games.
  • Tennessee Lottery players have won more than $843.8 million in prizes.
  • Tickets can be bought at 4,400 locations.

As of Sept. 1:

  • 56,849 lottery scholarships have been committed to Tennessee students.

Note: The Tennessee Lottery was launched 22 months ago.

Charlotte Observer

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.

6 comments. Last comment 16 years ago by LOTTOMIKE.
Page 1 of 1
Coastal Georgia
United States
Member #2653
October 30, 2003
1866 Posts

Thank you NC Lottery, for not using RNG draws.

The point about the ping pong balls is well taken.

I bet Tenaj is happy !!!








    bellyache's avatar - 64x64a9wg

    United States
    Member #12618
    March 18, 2005
    2060 Posts

    Well if Tennessee does things right, NC should have no more problems in the future if they take Tenn. lead.

    Dance like no one is watching.


      United States
      Member #1826
      July 11, 2003
      2645 Posts

      I don't think it explictly mentioned anything about NC having ball drawing, just the fact that TN has them. And BTW, TN only uses ping-pong balls for Lotto 5. Cash 3 and Cash 4 are drawn with rubber balls.

      (insert signature here)


        United States
        Member #24438
        October 22, 2005
        638 Posts

        Is NC joinning any multi-state lottery?

          Tnplayer805's avatar - G 14_v78828750_Small.JPG
          North Dakota
          United States
          Member #13397
          April 5, 2005
          1623 Posts

          I don't think it explictly mentioned anything about NC having ball drawing, just the fact that TN has them. And BTW, TN only uses ping-pong balls for Lotto 5. Cash 3 and Cash 4 are drawn with rubber balls.

          Are rubber balls bad?  I had no idea those were rubber balls..  But I guess it makes since.  They bounce like crazy in the machines.

          How are you going to win if you don't play?

            LOTTOMIKE's avatar - Lottery-063.jpg
            United States
            Member #7853
            October 15, 2004
            11352 Posts

            I don't think it explictly mentioned anything about NC having ball drawing, just the fact that TN has them. And BTW, TN only uses ping-pong balls for Lotto 5. Cash 3 and Cash 4 are drawn with rubber balls.

            jimmy is right,no word yet on if its gonna be balls or computerized......