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Rebecca Paul Hargrove: Former newswoman cashes in on lottery career

Insider BuzzInsider Buzz: Rebecca Paul Hargrove: Former newswoman cashes in on lottery career

If running a state lottery is a risky business, you could say that Rebecca Paul Hargrove has hit the jackpot.

The onetime community affairs director of WICS-TV in Springfield, Hargrove — then known as Rebecca Paul — was named to head the Illinois State Lottery in 1985 by Gov. James Thompson.

She went on to be named the first director of Florida's lottery in 1987. Her lottery start-up experience led her to head Georgia's new games in 1993, and in 2003, she was named president and CEO of the new Tennessee Education Lottery Corporation, which began sales in January 2004.

"It's just something that there aren't a lot of people who know how to do," she said recently about getting a lottery off the ground. "Because I've done it so many times and know how to do it, I do it quickly and well, and get it started with a good foundation, and off you go."

When she left Illinois in 1987, Hargrove's salary was $62,000. In Tennessee, lottery sales representatives get commissions and incentives based on the lottery's performance. In the 12 months ending Jan. 20, the Tennessee lottery did $1 billion in sales.

Hargrove's base pay is $350,000, but bonuses have increased that to $600,000 or $700,000 a year, she said.

"That's not bad," she agreed. "I'm happy."

Hargrove, 58, an Indianapolis native, was Miss Indiana in 1972 and was fourth runner-up in the 1973 Miss America contest. Her late husband, Terry Paul, was executive vice president of the Springfield-based Home Builders Association of Illinois - a job he took in 1977 after running a similar group in Indianapolis. He died in 1999 after an illness.

"He was a wonderful man," Hargrove said. "I'm just fortunate to have found a second love of my life. Most women don't get one. I got two."

Her second husband, Jere Hargrove, was a member of the Illinois House but didn't run for re-election and left the House on Nov. 7. On Nov. 8, Gov. Phil Bredesen married them in the governor's office.

Given her new family, Hargrove now believes she'll be a "Tennessean forever." She also still has a home in Florida.

But her days on WICS seem to have stuck with people.

"I was at a restaurant in Atlanta when I still lived there, and one of the waiters came and goes, ‘I know you. I used to watch you on Channel 20,'" she said.

"What really gets me is (when) somebody goes, ‘Oh, I watched you when I was a kid.'"

"Thanks," she said with a laugh.

BACKGROUND: Miss Indiana in 1972.

AGE: 58

THEN: Community affairs director of WICS-TV, state chairwoman of the Republican Party of Illinois and director of the Illinois State Lottery.

NOW: President and CEO of the Tennessee Lottery Corporation.

HEADLINER: Her job pays $350,000 plus bonuses, bringing her annual take from $600,000 to $700,000.

QUOTE: "I loved Springfield. Springfield was certainly where my late husband's career was. ... I miss a lot of people there, and someday I'll have to come back and just go visit folks."

State Journal-Register

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8 comments. Last comment 10 years ago by Tnplayer805.
Page 1 of 1
tnlotto1's avatar - logo
United States
Member #49896
February 18, 2007
1181 Posts
Posted: April 2, 2007, 2:01 pm - IP Logged

i think she is doing  a good job here in tennessee, especially now that they announced the raffle drawing date...

    justxploring's avatar - villiarna
    Wandering Aimlessly
    United States
    Member #25360
    November 5, 2005
    4461 Posts
    Posted: April 2, 2007, 2:52 pm - IP Logged

    Hargrove's base pay is $350,000, but bonuses have increased that to $600,000 or $700,000 a year, she said.

    Wow, over $50,000 a month? Not a bad paycheck. 

      tntea's avatar - Lottery-059.jpg

      United States
      Member #5344
      June 30, 2004
      23641 Posts
      Posted: April 2, 2007, 4:47 pm - IP Logged

      Hargrove's base pay is $350,000, but bonuses have increased that to $600,000 or $700,000 a year, she said.

      Wow, over $50,000 a month? Not a bad paycheck. 

      What a salary?  I meant What a girl?

           OLD/Vtrac   Lottery Bible         Double Warnings      Thumbs Up TN F34/F44

        emilyg's avatar - cat anm.gif

        United States
        Member #14
        November 9, 2001
        31355 Posts
        Posted: April 2, 2007, 11:12 pm - IP Logged

        I just love it when a woman makes big$$$.

        love to nibble those micey feet.



          Coin Toss's avatar - shape barbed.jpg
          Zeta Reticuli Star System
          United States
          Member #30470
          January 17, 2006
          10351 Posts
          Posted: April 3, 2007, 1:28 am - IP Logged

          Hargrove's base pay is $350,000, but bonuses have increased that to $600,000 or $700,000 a year, she said.

          Wow, over $50,000 a month? Not a bad paycheck. 

          Exceptions to every rule of course, but there's a theory about salaries and wages that there's a lot more money in entertainment than necessities.

          This is one example.  

          Those who run the lotteries love it when players look for consistency in something that's designed not to have any.


          There is one and only one 'proven' system, and that is to book the action. No matter the game, let the players pick their own losers.

            gocart1's avatar - lighthouse
            ONEONTA,NEW YORK
            United States
            Member #30516
            January 17, 2006
            419 Posts
            Posted: April 3, 2007, 1:43 pm - IP Logged

            is rebecca going to be single soon...............rotflmao

              LOTTOMIKE's avatar - cash money.jpg
              United States
              Member #7853
              October 15, 2004
              11338 Posts
              Posted: April 4, 2007, 9:03 pm - IP Logged

              i think she is doing a great job.she deserves it.....

                Tnplayer805's avatar - G 14_v78828750_Small.JPG
                North Dakota
                United States
                Member #13397
                April 5, 2005
                1623 Posts
                Posted: April 8, 2007, 12:28 pm - IP Logged

                I too think Becca is doing a good job.  I'm going to hate to see her retire in about 5 years or so.  With those checks you know she's going to get out soon!

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