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Tenn. Lottery CEO breaks silence on drawing errors

Tennessee LotteryTennessee Lottery: Tenn. Lottery CEO breaks silence on drawing errors
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Lottery is committed to accountability

By REBECCA HARGROVE (Tennessee Lottery President and CEO)
and DENNIS BOTTORFF (Chairman of the Board of Directors)

When Tennessee voters called for the creation of a state lottery in November 2002, two things were on most people's minds: Millions in funding for new, specific programs to improve education, and a form of entertainment that would provide cash prizes and other economic benefits to the state.

Nearly five years later, the Tennessee Education Lottery (TEL) has provided just that. More than $919 million has been raised for education programs, over $216.8 million has been paid to Tennessee retailers who offer lottery products, and more than $1.9 billion in prizes has been won by Tennessee players. During the past fiscal year, lottery funds were used to assist nearly 60,000 students at higher education institutions in the state, to fund 290 pre-K classes, and to fund grants to 126 after-school programs.

To continue this success, the Tennessee Lottery remains committed to continuously monitoring every aspect of our games. A recent issue — a human error made by an outside third party discovered in the programming of software inherent to two of our drawing-style games — has raised questions about the integrity of the Tennessee Lottery. While it is impossible to offer an airtight guarantee that nothing will ever go wrong again, we would like to point out the following:

The Tennessee Lottery employs a variety of staff and outside industry experts whose sole purpose is to ensure the integrity of the games. In the case of the error in question, every drawing was being monitored for patterns that might be indicative of possible irregularities. Scrutiny and testing continued until an error was found.

An immediate correction

Once the error was pinpointed, it was immediately corrected by the third-party vendor. The TEL quickly shared details with the media and offered special refunds and additional prizes to our players. We posted refund information on our Web site and at the nearly 4,700 retailer locations that sell our products. Every available staff member has been working to process refunds and ensure a satisfactory customer experience for those impacted by the issue.

We have continued to test the software and other computer equipment related to these drawings and are seeking recertification by a different outside vendor.

As mentioned earlier, the Tennessee Lottery carefully monitors and tests every aspect of our games and will continue to do so. As with this issue, we will act swiftly in the case of any irregularity and share information about the issue appropriately. We will continue to obtain and respond to feedback received from the public via our Player Hotline and e-mail service. We will continue to operate with an open door, and we will continue to be held accountable to our board of directors.

And finally, on behalf of everyone at the Tennessee Lottery, we will remain committed to maximizing dollars for education using sound and responsible management. It always has and always will be the choice of anyone to participate in the Tennessee Lottery and its mission. We deeply regret the recent error and ask for a continuation of the support and belief that has helped contribute more than $919 million to education in Tennessee.

Tennessean

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15 comments. Last comment 9 years ago by DoubleDown.
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LOTTOMIKE's avatar - cash money.jpg
Tennessee
United States
Member #7853
October 15, 2004
11338 Posts
Offline
Posted: September 2, 2007, 7:40 am - IP Logged

tennessee won't get any more of my dollars.i feel like 'maximizing' my wallet not the tennessee lottery.....

    Todd's avatar - Cylon 2.gif
    Chief Bottle Washer
    New Jersey
    United States
    Member #1
    May 31, 2000
    23262 Posts
    Online
    Posted: September 2, 2007, 7:46 am - IP Logged

    She might have added -- when crowing about the money already "given" to the state for education -- that the $919 million was generated with TRUE LOTTERY DRAWINGS.  Not the computerized nonsense they're now pushing.

    If she feels true regret, let her show it by changing back to real drawings.

     

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

     

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

      takeitez's avatar - japheth
      Carters Lake, Ga.
      United States
      Member #5313
      June 29, 2004
      1065 Posts
      Offline
      Posted: September 2, 2007, 8:07 am - IP Logged

      She might have added -- when crowing about the money already "given" to the state for education -- that the $919 million was generated with TRUE LOTTERY DRAWINGS.  Not the computerized nonsense they're now pushing.

      If she feels true regret, let her show it by changing back to real drawings.

      I wonder......has anyone told her that?  I Agree!

      ez

                No Pity!Guitar  Drum ........ in the long run........

        Avatar
        Indiana
        United States
        Member #29196
        December 29, 2005
        280 Posts
        Offline
        Posted: September 2, 2007, 8:21 am - IP Logged

        I think someone is feeling the heat.  And rigthfully so. 

        I think if she has any regret it isn't because she made the decision to switch to an RNG and that decision costs the players a lot of money.  But rather it is because after all her talk about security and integrity the system was indeed not secure and the process was totally lacking in integrity.

        It is obvious to me that Ms Hargrove couldn't care less about the players and that she has no intention of switching back to ball drawings.  Look at this statement:

        "We will continue to operate with an open door, and we will continue to be held accountable to our board of directors."

        Note she didn't say to the players or the ciizens of the state.  Just the board of directors.  In plain English that means players be damned!  They can come through the "open door" and complain but they will be ignored just like they were the last time.  The bottom line is they don't care what you think and they don't answer to you the players. 

        Flawed RNG technology...unfair drawings..untrustworthy vendors...false and misleading statements...lack of trust...WE DON'T CARE!  WE AIN'T CHANGING BACK.  SO JUST SHUT UP.  DEAL WITH IT AND GIVE US YOUR MONEY!

        Jim 


        Money frees you from doing things you dislike.  Since I dislike doing nearly everything, money is handy.  - Groucho Marx

          MADDOG10's avatar - smoke
          Beautiful Florida
          United States
          Member #5709
          July 18, 2004
          20110 Posts
          Online
          Posted: September 2, 2007, 9:01 am - IP Logged

          " The Tennessee Lottery employs a variety of staff and outside industry experts whose sole purpose is to ensure the integrity of the games. In the case of the error in question, every drawing was being monitored for patterns that might be indicative of possible irregularities. Scrutiny and testing continued until an error was found." ________________________________________________________________________

          Now everyone knows that is a crock of " Cow Dung ". If it was being monitored as they say it was, it would have been caught by them and it was'nt. When they were notified, they chose to do "nada". To me thats a warped meaning of Integrity and a slap in the face to all the players in Tenn, to say the least.

          __________________________________________________

          "We have continued to test the software and other computer equipment related to these drawings and are seeking recertification by a different outside vendor."

          ______________________________________________________

          Another crock of " Cow Dung ". Is'nt this the same commission that said they tested the system and found no irregularities, because "doubles" showed in their tests?

          In my opinion their "Integrity" flew out the window when they decided to switch to computorized drawings.

          What this Lottery Commission needs to do along with the States lawmakers, is to put this issue to a vote from the the people of the State. I mean after all the Lottery is being funded by the public, not the State right? If your so called  "Integrity" is what its all about, then you need to switch back to mechanical drawings if you really want to maximize your dollars, after all, was'nt it mechanical drawings that got you there in the first place?

          Your replies to all inquiries concerned still rates an "F" as does your Lottery since it switched. You can't maximize dollars if you minimize integrity of the game....!

          _____________________________________________________________________________

                                                       

                                                         "  When Injustice Becomes Law, Resistance Becomes Duty "

            Avatar
            Columbia City, Indiana
            United States
            Member #2978
            December 9, 2003
            381 Posts
            Offline
            Posted: September 2, 2007, 9:11 am - IP Logged

              You're right again, Uncle Jim.

              Here's something else I noticed:

              from the article:

              "Once the error was pinpointed, it was immediately corrected by the third-party vendor. The TEL quickly shared details with the media and offered special refunds and additional prizes to our players."

               I can't help wondering, how many days must pass before something no longer qualifies as "immediately?" Is "quickly" just a relative term? Her selective use of adjectives certainly dresses up the speech, but the message remains the same: "We ain't changing back and, if you don't like it, well, buy our tickets anyway, unless you don't want to help the children."

              I wonder why Indiana doesn't call theirs the "Hoosier Education Lottery."

              Oh, right ... I see it now ...

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

            Jim

              Raven62's avatar - binary
              New Jersey
              United States
              Member #17843
              June 28, 2005
              49709 Posts
              Offline
              Posted: September 2, 2007, 9:33 am - IP Logged

              Tenn. Lottery CEO breaks silence on drawing errors with nothing but double talk.

              A mind once stretched by a new idea never returns to its original dimensions!

                tnlotto1's avatar - logo
                nashville
                United States
                Member #49896
                February 18, 2007
                1181 Posts
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                Posted: September 2, 2007, 1:20 pm - IP Logged

                this explanation was crap she will continue to hear complaints and i hope other players continue to stop spending lottery money in this state.

                  Avatar
                  Kentucky
                  United States
                  Member #32652
                  February 14, 2006
                  7308 Posts
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                  Posted: September 2, 2007, 2:26 pm - IP Logged

                  "When Tennessee voters called for the creation of a state lottery in November 2002, two things were on most people's minds: Millions in funding for new, specific programs to improve education, and a form of entertainment that would provide cash prizes and other economic benefits to the state."

                  The Ohio Lottery runs a weekly game show called Make me Famous, Make me Rich where players qualify for the show by sending in scratch-off entry tickets. There are 3 rounds of play and after each round they air comments by some of the players. In each of the last three weeks one player has justified buying the scratch-off tickets by saying they do it because they know the profits goes to the state's educational fund.

                  I played the PA lottery before the inception of the Ohio Lottery, continued playing in Ohio and I have never heard one person in any type of conversation about the lottery say they play because it benefits the schools. When I heard that remark again last night, it became obvious that somebody within the lottery has coached people to make it.

                  This hypocrisy is found in all state lotteries where they try to create the image of being a charity organization and not bookies that run gambling games. As a player I can overlook the comments made about where the profits go on the game show because it doesn't affect my chances of winning but in Tennessee where the games were tainted, they might as well tell their players not to complain about being cheated because their wagers were actually donations supporting education.

                  "A recent issue — a human error made by an outside third party discovered in the programming of software inherent to two of our drawing-style games — has raised questions about the integrity of the Tennessee Lottery."

                  Their integrity would have never been questioned if they hadn't gone to a computer draw and the fact there was a human error doesn't support future player confidence. If they are honest and want to maintain their integrity, they should have admitted their mistake and went back to ball type drawings.

                  Tennessee predictions are included in "all states" but some are probably making predictions specifically for that state and maybe as a form of protest, the Tennessee predictions could be closed until they prove their draws are honest.

                    Avatar
                    Coastal Georgia
                    United States
                    Member #2653
                    October 30, 2003
                    1866 Posts
                    Offline
                    Posted: September 2, 2007, 4:13 pm - IP Logged

                    I sincerely hope Ms Hargrove does some research ( on the Lottery Post ) and comes to the realization that the switch to RNG was ill-conceived and the players will indeed boycott it .

                     

                                                   

                                  

                     

                     

                      Avatar

                      United States
                      Member #1826
                      July 11, 2003
                      2645 Posts
                      Offline
                      Posted: September 2, 2007, 8:35 pm - IP Logged

                      Yeah, sure they fixed that problem. Thank goodness it was easy to spot. But what if there are other problems? If there are, how the hell do they, or will they, know?!

                      That's what I mean by transparency, if something goes wrong with the program, and the results don't make it clearly obvious as this past fiasco did, the problem goes unresolved indefinately. There might still be flaw in the program, or for that matter any other state's program, that no one has spotted, or even can spot. It's just electric charges in a black box. The majority, if not all, RNGs may very well be generating largely random results with no errors, but as long as the draw officials have no way of inspecting processes as throughly as one would do with any mechanical method, whether they be balls or wheels or even slips of paper from a hat, all RNGs should be referred to as...

                      Zoinks indeed. 

                      (insert signature here)

                        Avatar
                        Morristown, TN
                        United States
                        Member #20593
                        August 21, 2005
                        355 Posts
                        Offline
                        Posted: September 3, 2007, 2:20 pm - IP Logged

                        IT is time for you to leave our state Rebacca Hargrove get out sp we can have a decent lottery.You are paid way to much money anyway. get out and stay out.

                          Badger's avatar - adu50016 NorthAmericanBadger.jpg
                          Wisconsin
                          United States
                          Member #1303
                          March 27, 2003
                          1508 Posts
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                          Posted: September 3, 2007, 7:01 pm - IP Logged

                          It is obvious to me that Ms Hargrove couldn't care less about the players and that she has no intention of switching back to ball drawings.  Look at this statement:

                          "We will continue to operate with an open door, and we will continue to be held accountable to our board of directors."

                          Note she didn't say to the players or the ciizens of the state.  Just the board of directors.  In plain English that means players be damned!  They can come through the "open door" and complain but they will be ignored just like they were the last time.  The bottom line is they don't care what you think and they don't answer to you the players. 

                          ----------------------------------------------------------------------

                          Well of course. It is a monopoly. Monopolies really don't care about their customers. They don't have to do so. Just like here, there is only one choice for us to get electricity/gas from and one choice to get cable from. So they only care about their B of D and the shareholders.

                          What is needed in every industry is competition.  It is surprising how attitudes change when they know customers have a second option to spend their money on...Sadly, that won't happen in the lotteries.

                          ============

                          How can you tell if a politician is lying?

                          Answer: His lips are moving.

                            konane's avatar - wallace
                            Atlanta, GA
                            United States
                            Member #1265
                            March 13, 2003
                            3333 Posts
                            Offline
                            Posted: September 4, 2007, 11:31 am - IP Logged
                            I'll pop in to say that I'm so happy Ms. Rebecca Paul-Hargrove left the Georgia Lottery before she completely ran it into the ground like she's doing the Tennessee Lottery. 

                            With Georgia sales declining her only remedy was to tighten up games with higher matrices, more ballsets, terminate 6/46 Lotto Georgia, and launch the asinine computer generated "Change Game" aimed at vacuuming every last cent from a player's pocket.  You could smell the greed wafting all over the Georgia Lottery, players were overcome by the stench and sales were exponentially down .... when she was hired by the Tennessee Lottery.

                            Also if Tennessee Lottery players EVER expect Ms. Paul-Hargrove to listen to any comments they best not hold their breath, and know they're lucky to get a canned repy.  Paul-Hargrove never listened to Georgia players .... no point listening while in the drivers seat enamored by a "magic formula" which may have worked waaaaaaay back but was failing miserably, yet they're in a power position to force it upon players no matter what.     

                            I never knew of any original idea or updated method ever instituted by Paul-Hargrove while head of the Georgia Lottery.

                            Converting Tennessee to computerized-behind-closed-doors-smoke-and-mirrors drawings seems to be rampant greed again, also estimation Tennessee players are too stupid too unsophisticated to know the difference ... and will continue forking over money to increase bonus pay without realizing what's been done to them. 

                            Where's respect for players who pay your salary and ridiculous bonus and perks?  Seems to be totally absent in the cya replies.  May be her outdated dog and pony show aren't working this time around.  Thank you internet, thank you Lottery Post!

                            Also wonder if a class action suit may looming over the horizon?

                            Good luck to everyone!