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Lottery Post member turns up the heat on the Hoosier Lottery

Indiana LotteryIndiana Lottery: Lottery Post member turns up the heat on the Hoosier Lottery

Is the Indiana Lottery vulnerable to inside tampering?

By Kevin Leininger
Fort Wayne News Sentinel 

You'd think Jim Grimes would be happy.

After all, the retired Noble County engineer, whose concerns about the integrity of the Hoosier Lottery were the subject of a column in June 2004, helped spark an investigation that led to three indictments in an alleged million-dollar scam. But, if anything, Grimes is even more frustrated than he was when we first talked nearly two years ago - even though he is no longer willing to lose money to a game he still believes is rigged.

"I don't take any satisfaction from charges being filed," Grimes said from his home in Kimmell, about 35 miles northwest of Fort Wayne. "They stopped short of investigating everything we brought up."

Two years ago, the crux of Grimes' complaint was this: When the lottery in 2001 stopped using pingpong balls to select numbers and started using a computer instead, his mathematically precise method of predicting winners was no longer so successful. Using a computer, he believed, allowed lottery officials to know which numbers were being played, by how many people, and where - making it possible to limit the state's payout by manipulating the computer's supposedly "random" number selections.

Not long after my column appeared, Grimes called and said he had been in touch with two police investigators from Marion County. Would I be willing to meet with them?

Grimes: Says investigation wasn’t complete No journalist could turn down an offer like that. So, a few days later, I met in The News-Sentinel offices with Grimes, Thomas Trathen of the Marion County prosecutor's office and Sgt. Michael Thayer of the Indianapolis Police Department. They seemed very interested in what Grimes had to say. They took lots of notes; we shook hands, and they left.

And nothing happened. Or so it seemed.

Then, in the first week of November 2004, a team of investigators acting under the authority of Marion County Prosecutor Carl Brizzi searched the lottery's offices in downtown Indianapolis and arrested three men on charges they had conspired to claim a scratch-off ticket worth $1 million.

Police say William C. Foreman used his inside knowledge as a lottery official to learn which retail outlet had received a winning ticket in the $2 million "Bonus Spectacular Game." Foreman then allegedly told accomplices Chad Adkins and Daniel Foltz to buy the entire supply of tickets - worth about $700 - from a store in Cross Plains.

Adkins and Foltz, both of Shelby County, redeemed the ticket, which would have paid each of them $25,000 per year for 20 years.

If they had not already agreed to plead guilty and testify against Foreman, that is. If convicted, Foreman could face up to 50 years in prison - the harshest penalty imposed by any state for breeching lottery security. Lottery Executive Director Esther Schneider, however, thinks the punishment would fit the crime.

"You're talking about someone who cheated somebody out of $1 million," she said. "It's not the same as rape or incest, but it is like Enron."

Even though the indictments are not directly linked to Grimes' contention that computer-generated winning numbers aren't really drawn randomly, Thayer said Grimes' concerns were helpful nonetheless.
"When we started asking questions, other people brought other things to us," he said.

Although Grimes believes the lottery continues to manipulate numbers to limit payouts, Thayer and Schneider insist his suspicions are baseless. "We've spent $1 million on security so players know the system is fair. My integrity and reputation is invested in this," said Schneider, who took over the job a year ago.

"This was a one-time situation," Thayer said.

Grimes remains skeptical, however. If an unscrupulous lottery official could allegedly hand-pick winners, what other abuses might be possible, he wonders.

But Schneider said the security changes she's made should prevent a recurrence of what Foreman supposedly did. Access to winning numbers is more strictly controlled now, with multiple layers of oversight, and no one can see the numbers until the game is closed.

Attorney Jack Crawford, the lottery's first director, is defending Foreman against the state's "unconstitutionally" harsh penalties.

"I find that very ironic," Schneider said.

Grimes no doubt would choose a stronger word.

Fort Wayne News Sentinel

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44 comments. Last comment 11 years ago by CASH Only.
Page 1 of 3
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Englewood, Colorado
United States
Member #19108
July 25, 2005
51 Posts
Offline
Posted: January 31, 2006, 6:28 pm - IP Logged

I think Grimes is onto something here that I hadn't even considered with computerized drawings.

It would be possible to skew the results of a drawing if it were known which combinations were picked, thus preventing a jackpot from being won.

Especially if some unscrupulous person had this knowledge.

Computerized drawings should be banned outright.

    Avatar

    United States
    Member #1826
    July 11, 2003
    2645 Posts
    Offline
    Posted: January 31, 2006, 6:37 pm - IP Logged

    I'm sure when the common player turns on the TV when and if the balls are back, he or she will say "A lottery drawing. I haven't seen a lottery drawing in years. I'm gonna go buy a ticket". A thus will begin a resurgence in sales. And when other lotteries see that, they'll do the same. And a whole cycle of ball drawings coming back will begin.

    (insert signature here)

      Avatar
      Coastal Georgia
      United States
      Member #2653
      October 30, 2003
      1866 Posts
      Offline
      Posted: January 31, 2006, 6:39 pm - IP Logged

      I think Grimes is onto something here that I hadn't even considered with computerized drawings.

      It would be possible to skew the results of a drawing if it were known which combinations were picked, thus preventing a jackpot from being won.

      Especially if some unscrupulous person had this knowledge.

      Computerized drawings should be banned outright.

      We've been railing against computerized drawings on here for a very long time...

      Please sign the petition against this manipulative method of number selection.

      DD

       

                                     

                    

       

       

        Avatar

        United States
        Member #1826
        July 11, 2003
        2645 Posts
        Offline
        Posted: January 31, 2006, 7:13 pm - IP Logged

        This calls for another edition of "What Would Jimmy Do With The Lottery : Indiana Edition".

        Daily 3, Daily 4 & Lucky 5

        No changes.

        The return of "Lotto Cash"

        Pick 6 out of 49.

        Jackpots start at $500,000 cash, and should grow by $100,000 by each drawing without a winner.

        Drawings Tuesdays and Fridays.

        Tickets are $1 each.


        Prize
        Odds
        Match 6
        CASH JACKPOT
        1 : 13,983,816.0
        Match 5
        Avg. $3,486
        1 : 54,200.8
        Match 4
        Avg. $66
        1 : 1,032.4
        Match 3
        $5 Guaranteed
        1 : 56.7
        Match 2
        Free Quick Pick
        1 : 7.6

        Overall Odds are about 1 in 6.6

        Half of all sales go to the prize pool, and out of that prize pool exactly half goes to the jackpot. Jackpots are only paid and advertised in the lump sum value.

        Draw Machines

        Now the fun part, as well as the most important one. People need to know that the days corruption are over. That means hard rubber balls for the drawing, and the auditor and a security guard on-camera supervising the drawing along with the draw host. For the machines, I was thinking about the Smartplay Messenger for the Daily 3/4, and a Smartplay Criterion II for the Lucky 5 and Lotto Cash. The drawings (both midday and evening) should ideally be on major network affiliates (ABC, CBS, NBC) to ensure maximum household penetration.

        (insert signature here)

          Avatar
          Columbia City, Indiana
          United States
          Member #2978
          December 9, 2003
          381 Posts
          Offline
          Posted: January 31, 2006, 9:21 pm - IP Logged

          Geez! What a mug on that guy!

          That picture should be hanging in the post office ...

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

          Jim

            dvdiva's avatar - 8ball

            United States
            Member #2338
            September 17, 2003
            2063 Posts
            Offline
            Posted: January 31, 2006, 10:10 pm - IP Logged

            I would hope it would send a message to state lotteries that for sales and for a perception of randomness that they would use ball drawings. I don't think most lotteries will hear that message though. Both the state I live in (Washington) and the next state over, Oregon are computer drawn. The only thing the legislators want is more cash from the lotteries as a lower percentage goes to the players. One wonders if it's money from Indian casino's driving it or just plain greed and stupidity.

            It would be nice though for a state to show that it listens to it's players and have ball drawings. 

              four4me's avatar - gate1
              MD
              United States
              Member #1701
              June 18, 2003
              8359 Posts
              Offline
              Posted: January 31, 2006, 10:39 pm - IP Logged

              After reviewing a lot of what the Jim's and LosingJeff have said. And doing a little research on my own I think the reputation of the incumbents is the bigger part of the picture. People in Indiana might have high regards for these people and not want to bring them to justice. I thought the governor appointed the people to the lottery commission bringing charges to bear on the acting lottery officials will most likely filter back all the way to the state house. And that group of people will definitely do everything in their power to stop any action against them.

              This is one of the reasons Jim and jeff's petition for help in bringing the people to justice has hit so many dead ends. Mainly because it's not one person involved. If the whole kit and caboodle is corrupt now is the best time to expose them because of upcoming elections. Many lottery commissioners and incumbents remain in their respective positions even after new government personnel have been appointed. Finding someone to expose the corruption and get a complete picture of the goings on behind the scenes may take someone of higher authority than the governor. Which might mean going to Washington, DC? Since all avenues of approach using state officials have failed.

                LOTTOMIKE's avatar - cash money.jpg
                Tennessee
                United States
                Member #7853
                October 15, 2004
                11338 Posts
                Offline
                Posted: February 1, 2006, 6:46 am - IP Logged

                believe me if i was there i would be helping.i think jim,jim and jeff know this.i think these things are happening...........

                1-the computerized drawing is manipulated to bring in maximum profit
                2-the winning numbers on pick 3 and pick 4 are the ones no one bet on
                3-lotto jackpots are driven up to big amounts to increase sales
                4-winning scratch offs are bought by lottery insiders
                5-a lot of player money is being embezzeled by indiana lottery personnel
                6-the surprise changes with the annuity
                7-winners always being confined to a certain region or area........


                i would like the FBI to see that list above and bust this thing apart.

                then maybe people like losingjeff and others could have a fair game to play again.

                  Avatar
                  New Member

                  United States
                  Member #31425
                  January 29, 2006
                  18 Posts
                  Offline
                  Posted: February 1, 2006, 8:40 am - IP Logged

                  Gtech has most lottery contracts in the United States. They have in each state 2 large computers that runs the lottery in each State. Everyone is concerned about computerized drawing and want the old drawing machines back. I don't want any of them really. Why? They are all controlled, by Gtech. I live in Houston, Texas and can tell you its all corrupt. The trial for Enron is finally starting here in Houston where the Enron Headquarters went bust. Gtech ought to be the next company to go on trial. People believe that the machines and balls are random. They are not. Every terminal that tickects are purchased from are controlled by Gtech. They already know what numbers are played (your picks or their quick picks). In Texas they don't want the public to see live drawings. In beginning (1992) they have flashed the drawing on the 10:00 news here.
                  Then the Texas lotteryofficals announced that the announcer of the winning balls would be correct even if the balls that fell where different. Now we get the numbers flashed on the news without seeing the drawing at all. Why all this secrecy? Texas lottery officials will tell you that its cheaper than a live drawing. As for scratch off's Scientific games is Texas largest venor in Texas and Gtech distributes the tickets to the 16,000 vendors here. Scienticfic and Gtech know where the winning tickets are going in Texas, is that why certain retailers always have the big winners?

                    fja's avatar - gnome1

                    United States
                    Member #91
                    January 19, 2002
                    11906 Posts
                    Offline
                    Posted: February 1, 2006, 8:49 am - IP Logged

                    This is going to get ugly really quick, or its going to stall and disappear......Hopefully someone will want to follow the money trail...

                      Avatar
                      New Member

                      United States
                      Member #31425
                      January 29, 2006
                      18 Posts
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                      Posted: February 1, 2006, 9:10 am - IP Logged

                      The people of these United States don't really have anyone to lobby in their state for them concerning the Lottery Games, rules and regulations. If you want honest and fair games, you need to form a Lottery Union to represent the people. Your dollars are donated to your state and you really don't have the say as to what games, computerized or machines, what the payout will be. There also needs to be a tracking system by each congressional representive to how many vendors in their district, how many sales generated by each vendor, and how many winners in that district. The tracking needs to show if the people winning actually live in that district. This will then open the door to honest lottery. Some retailers seem to get the big hits over and over again on scratch off tickets. This should send a big signal that something is wrong with the distribution of the winning scratch off tickets. As for the online games their needs also a tracking system for total number of vendors and their actual sales in each congressional district, with the winners zip code in relation to the zip code of each vendor. Tracking where the money goes it important for open and honest games. Why can't we have live drawings and let the last winners of the bigger games hand draw the winning balls? It is said the hand is quicker than the eye and I say the machine is quicker than the eye and hand. When are we going to demand honest and fair drawings?

                        Todd's avatar - Cylon 2.gif
                        Chief Bottle Washer
                        New Jersey
                        United States
                        Member #1
                        May 31, 2000
                        23259 Posts
                        Offline
                        Posted: February 1, 2006, 9:21 am - IP Logged

                        richwood,

                        I understand your concerns about the fairness of lottery drawings, but I totally disagree with you that Gtech somehow controls all the mechanical ball drawings.  I'm not saying that they can't be rigged (and they have), but to say that all the mechanical drawings are systemmatically rigged defies logic and reason.

                         

                        Check the State Lottery Report Card
                        What grade did your lottery earn?

                         

                        Sign the Petition for True Lottery Drawings
                        Help eliminate computerized drawings!

                          four4me's avatar - gate1
                          MD
                          United States
                          Member #1701
                          June 18, 2003
                          8359 Posts
                          Offline
                          Posted: February 1, 2006, 10:04 am - IP Logged
                          There seems to be some misconception about scratch offs ticket being distributed equally among states. Granted that is a problem but places that sell or get more larger winning tickets than other places boils down to sales. Some places might sell 100,000 scratch off a week while other places might not sell 300 scratchers a week. It stands to reason that the places selling the larger amount of tickets might get more top tier winning packets than places that sell fewer tickets because the bigger sales places are getting a higher percentage of the total package of tickets. It is not uncommon to hear that certain places sold more winning tickets than some rinky dinky candy store, deli or neighborhood tavern. Considering millions of scratch off tickets are printed there is no way that every place that sells tickets is going to sell a top tier winner or second place winner. The small places that do get larger tier winning tickets can feel lucky that they purchased a packet of tickets with a winner.

                          We have a local grocer who is the leading sales scratcher ticket seller in the state he is probably getting like 100 packs of tickets if not more every week for every scratch game he sells. Compared to the local candy store who might only sell 3 books of scratchers for a whole month and is selling limited supply of the total amount of scratch games..

                            lottolady24's avatar - scene sunovermountains.jpg
                            New Member
                            West Palm Beach, Florida
                            United States
                            Member #14811
                            May 3, 2005
                            17 Posts
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                            Posted: February 1, 2006, 11:41 am - IP Logged

                            Why haven't any of the lottery higher-ups stepped up to admit that computerized drawings have way too many loopholes?  Whether they are secure or not or corrupt or not, the fact of the matter is that RNG's can be manipulated and hacked.  And no one will know, and there will be no way to prove it.  It's the computer age!  Jeez!

                            Plus we all love to see the little ping pong balls bouncing around...so much more fun!

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