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Indiana Lottery promotion gets crazy

Indiana LotteryIndiana Lottery: Indiana Lottery promotion gets crazy

Lottery chief hurt as crowd grabs potentially valuable balloons

Indiana Lottery officials had hoped to parade into Pan American Plaza in Indianapolis on Wednesday afternoon and let 200 red balloons — some carrying prizes — fly into the sky and ultimately into the hands of some lucky Hoosiers.

But before they were able to yell "Go!" a hundred or so people who'd gathered to watch the event charged forward, grabbing balloons and roughing up at least one of the balloon-holders.

"No, no!" Andrew Reed, the lottery's spokesman, yelled as the crowd surged forward. Urging the lottery personnel to launch the balloons before people could get their hands on them he yelled from the podium, "Let them go! Stand back!".

But not everyone listened. One of the balloon-holders — Esther Schneider, the outgoing executive director of the lottery — had some balloons wrapped around her wrists and could be heard yelling, "Stop it!" as people grabbed for them. She had a small scratch on her face that was bleeding.

Schneider quickly recovered, joking about the lottery director getting "clawed to death" by what she termed as an "overzealous crowd." But she admitted she was disappointed by the outcome. "It was like a mob mentality," she said.

Though a few people snagged balloons before they flew away, most of the balloons rose quickly into the sky and were carried north by the wind. Lottery officials said they have no idea where the balloons might land.

Ten of the 200 balloons contained a coupon that could be redeemed for a $25 Holiday Raffle ticket and a chance at the game's grand prize.

The game is the Hoosier Lottery's first to offer a scratch-off portion with prizes up to $250,000 as well as a number that could be drawn in a raffle Jan. 31.

Anyone who does find a coupon for a free ticket must redeem it by Dec. 22 at 4:30 p.m. at lottery headquarters Downtown.

Matt Phillips, 20, and his cousin Brandon Smith, 20, both of Indianapolis, were Downtown applying for jobs when they decided to check out the balloon launch.

"I would help a lot of people," Phillips said of his plans for any money from a winning ticket. The two agreed to split any prize money they win.

Smith ended up with several balloons, but each had a Merry Christmas card from the lottery and no coupon.
The cousins went back to knocking on doors, hoping to find jobs.

They couldn't wait: Hoosier Lottery Executive Director Esther Schneider (left) struggled to release a balloon Wednesday in Downtown Indianapolis as people reached to take it from her. Some of the 200 balloons carried a ticket redeemable for a $25 Holiday Raffle lottery ticket.
They couldn't wait: Hoosier Lottery Executive Director Esther Schneider (left) struggled to
release a balloon Wednesday in Downtown Indianapolis as people reached to take it
from her. Some of the 200 balloons carried a ticket redeemable for a $25 Holiday Raffle
lottery ticket.

People rushed Hoosier Lottery workers during a balloon release Wednesday, in some cases trying to grab balloons before they were out of the workers' hands.
People rushed Hoosier Lottery workers during a balloon release Wednesday,
in some cases trying to grab balloons before they were out of the workers' hands.

By the numbers

1 in 480,000: The odds of winning the $2.5 million prize in the Hoosier Lottery's Holiday Raffle game, the best odds ever offered by the lottery for winning a prize of that magnitude. Only 480,000 tickets are being sold, at $25 each, compared with 3 million for a typical lottery game.

Lottery Post Staff

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8 comments. Last comment 10 years ago by LckyLary.
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Avatar
Columbia City, Indiana
United States
Member #2978
December 9, 2003
381 Posts
Offline
Posted: December 14, 2006, 7:46 am - IP Logged

Andrew Reed is one of the biggest liars this state has ever produced.

He insists that Indiana's liability limit on the Daily Games is two million dollars per drawing, but is unable to point to where that limit is written or otherwise mandated. He's the Hoosier Lottery's "spin doctor," and is the sole survivor of Queen Esther's axe attack, due only to his remarkable ability to lie to the public and make them believe that what we're looking at isn't what it is, it's something else.

Esther Schneider is another gem. She actually made senior lottery personnel walk her dogs and pick up her dry cleaning, among other demeaning tasks. When they finally refused, she simply fired them. Several lawsuits have been filed against her in the past year for more serious offenses, and this is exposure that our state legislature cannot afford. Hence the decision to allow her to "step down," and selling the lottery to a private company will allow them to distance themselves from any wrongdoing once it does come out. 

I'm surprised Todd hasn't posted Mitch Daniels' spanking new plan to sell our corrupt lottery for one billion dollars. That hit the papers yesterday. As soon as a buyer begins to nibble, you can bet their document shredders will be working overtime.

As for the article, I wouldn't believe 480,000 tickets were produced unless I had counted them myself, and I have my doubts that the winning ticket was among those released in yesterday's promotion; that's just not how they do things. It's a safe bet that the "lucky" winner will be either a friend or relative of someone who works for the Hoosier Lottery. Given the degree of corruption to which they aspire, I just don't believe they're capable of running an honest game anymore.

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

Jim

    wizeguy's avatar - animaniacs04

    United States
    Member #15143
    May 10, 2005
    414 Posts
    Offline
    Posted: December 14, 2006, 7:55 am - IP Logged

    People are nuts, at least 102 of them! 100 who assaulted lottery officials, the one who thought up this promotion and the one who approved it! Thumbs Up

      Todd's avatar - Cylon 2.gif
      Chief Bottle Washer
      New Jersey
      United States
      Member #1
      May 31, 2000
      23352 Posts
      Online
      Posted: December 14, 2006, 7:56 am - IP Logged

      News tips can be forwarded to my PM.

       

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

       

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

        Todd's avatar - Cylon 2.gif
        Chief Bottle Washer
        New Jersey
        United States
        Member #1
        May 31, 2000
        23352 Posts
        Online
        Posted: December 14, 2006, 7:57 am - IP Logged

        People are nuts, at least 102 of them! 100 who assaulted lottery officials, the one who thought up this promotion and the one who approved it! Thumbs Up

        I was thinking exactly the same thing.  What a dopey promotion!!!  Be sure to watch the video.

        Did you see how the balloons are all clumped together?

         

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

         

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


          United States
          Member #379
          June 5, 2002
          11296 Posts
          Offline
          Posted: December 14, 2006, 9:43 am - IP Logged

          Maybe people grabbed the balloons thinking they would fly to out-of-state locations.

          Maybe NY should sell off its lottery also; it's corrupt, albeit in a different way.

            Avatar

            United States
            Member #33085
            February 18, 2006
            744 Posts
            Offline
            Posted: December 14, 2006, 11:30 am - IP Logged

            I don't generally comment on an article unless it is interesting. But this event has been rated by me as the:

             

             NUMBER #1 MOST STUPID IDEA FOR 2006!

            What were they thinking?

              Avatar
              NY
              United States
              Member #23835
              October 16, 2005
              3502 Posts
              Offline
              Posted: December 14, 2006, 1:26 pm - IP Logged

              I don't generally comment on an article unless it is interesting. But this event has been rated by me as the:

               

               NUMBER #1 MOST STUPID IDEA FOR 2006!

              What were they thinking?


              Personally, I figure that letting a bunch of ballons go just means that next week there will be a bunch of pieces of bright rubber hanging ina bunch of trees, and I think it should be treated like any other form of littering.

              Littering implications aside, this was a perfectly good promotion. For the cost of 200 balloons, 190 Christmas cards, and 10 free tickets, they got thousands of dollars worth of publicity. As long as nobody was seriously injured they're even lucky the crowd got out of control, since that is getting them even more publicity. Living in New York I normally wouldn't know squat about games offered by the Indiana lottery, but now I've heard about this one.

                Avatar

                United States
                Member #10720
                January 23, 2005
                933 Posts
                Offline
                Posted: December 14, 2006, 9:27 pm - IP Logged

                Hmmm..... this give me an idea for a song!  200 Red Balloons...

                "200 Red Balloons, floating in the December sky, everyone's an instant winner, everyone's a silly fool....."

                I'll segway it into where the balloons are mistaken for incoming warheads and cause a "Red Alert" and the President scrambles bombers to Indiana to shoot down the balloons...