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Georgia lawmakers question lottery bonuses

Georgia LotteryGeorgia Lottery: Georgia lawmakers question lottery bonuses

Top Georgia Republicans are calling for a review of the bonuses awarded to Georgia Lottery officials.

Georgia Lottery President Margaret DeFrancisco and her employees collected nearly $3 million dollars in bonuses this year, a sum that has mystified Georgia legislators who three years ago tightened requirements for the lottery-funded HOPE scholarship.

House Higher Education Committee Chair Bill Hembree called the figures "insane" and Senate Majority Whip Mitch Seabaugh said he wanted to re-examine the group's structure.

He said, "There is no accountability, so they can do what they want — take the money and run and be happy with it."

Lottery officials say the bonuses are needed to stay competitive and keep employees focused.  They say they have increased the funding each year that goes to prekindergarten and the HOPE scholarship — which pays tuition for college students with at least a "B" average.

Lottery board chairman Tony Campbell says the incentives help motivate people and, "The results have been extraordinary."

Bonuses have long been awarded to lottery officials, but they are now 10 to 15 times greater than they were in 1993, the lottery's first year.

But DeFrancisco said some of the perks have been cut back, and new limits have been placed on how much sick time staffers can convert to vacation and leave. She also said it's not fair to compare the lottery to state agencies, because it raises all the money it spends rather than relying on annual appropriations from the state.

The lottery has proven successful. Since 1993 there has been only one year-to-year dip in sales. Sales topped $3.4 billion in the last fiscal year. Some $853 million was transferred to HOPE and prekindergarten programs.

Yet lawmakers are sensitive about the administrative costs — particularly after stiffening requirements for the HOPE scholarship after projections showed the program's growing costs would outpace the rise in lottery ticket sales.

Said Seabaugh, "I just have to wonder how secure HOPE will be paying out $3 million dollar bonuses every year."

AP

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19 comments. Last comment 9 years ago by Stack47.
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LOTTOMIKE's avatar - cash money.jpg
Tennessee
United States
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October 15, 2004
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Posted: December 3, 2007, 8:57 am - IP Logged

Winkmaybe tennessee was the state they were really talking about

    dumars798's avatar - batman17
    Atlanta
    United States
    Member #28656
    December 20, 2005
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    Posted: December 3, 2007, 10:05 am - IP Logged

    They need to spread the $$$ to us G.A players!!!!

            Smart bets...... Equal Phat Pocket$!

                         

                 





      konane's avatar - wallace
      Atlanta, GA
      United States
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      March 13, 2003
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      Posted: December 3, 2007, 10:16 am - IP Logged

      Lawmakers fail to take into consideration those bonu$e$ were originally negotiated by none other than Paul-Hargrove whose track record toward the last of her tenure failed to merit her huge salary bonus she secured for herself.

      Ms. DeFrancisco at a much lower salary than Paul-Hargrove has turned the Georgia Lottery around to a real performer .... players are happily spending money.   

      Current Georgia Lottery integrity is reflected in sales performance lead by Ms. DeFrancisco.  Let them keep their merit bonuses .... they've well earned them.

      Good luck to everyone!

        Avatar
        Northern California
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        Posted: December 3, 2007, 11:11 am - IP Logged

        I wish the article contained more information...I seem to remember everyone at the lottery, all the way down to the janitor, getting (or being eligible for) some sort of bonus. I don't know what Margaret is making total but she seems to have done a pretty good job down there.

         

        $3 million is less than 1/10 of 1 percent of sales...compare with the average US Corporation and its a drop in the bucket. A lot of publicly traded firms go by an estimate that says the management team should be getting 10-20% of the net net as exec comp.

         

        Still, $3 million could pay for a bunch of HOPE scholarships and all this kind press never helps a lottery. Maybe they should reset the base salaries and bonus schedule....

         

        Paying for college is a great way to show the benefits of having a lottery. However, what usually happens, once a dedicated funding source is created like that, is the colleges start raising tuition and fees. That makes it tougher for the Lottery to "succeed" at its mission.

          konane's avatar - wallace
          Atlanta, GA
          United States
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          March 13, 2003
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          Posted: December 3, 2007, 11:26 am - IP Logged

          I wish the article contained more information...I seem to remember everyone at the lottery, all the way down to the janitor, getting (or being eligible for) some sort of bonus. I don't know what Margaret is making total but she seems to have done a pretty good job down there.

           

          $3 million is less than 1/10 of 1 percent of sales...compare with the average US Corporation and its a drop in the bucket. A lot of publicly traded firms go by an estimate that says the management team should be getting 10-20% of the net net as exec comp.

           

          Still, $3 million could pay for a bunch of HOPE scholarships and all this kind press never helps a lottery. Maybe they should reset the base salaries and bonus schedule....

           

          Paying for college is a great way to show the benefits of having a lottery. However, what usually happens, once a dedicated funding source is created like that, is the colleges start raising tuition and fees. That makes it tougher for the Lottery to "succeed" at its mission.

          If memory serves me Ms. DeFrancisco came in at around $110,000 per year plus bonus, not sure if there has been an increase.

          On the other hand Paul-Hargrove was raking in in excess of $600,000 per year salary +++ bonuses and was not the performer in any respect whatsoever that Ms. DeFrancisco has been.  Yeah, Becca set it up but ran it into the ground due to greed and no imagination.

          As stated many times Ms. DeFrancisco has given back to players in the form of second chance drawings several times a year, contests, buy one get one free coupons, buy so many tickets get one free which were never ever done under Paul-Hargrove. 

          Good luck to everyone!

            logo's avatar - Lottery-050.jpg
            ga
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            June 1, 2007
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            Posted: December 3, 2007, 12:35 pm - IP Logged

            thanks todd

                  i believe there is something wrong with our lottery

              johnph77's avatar - avatar
              CA
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              December 10, 2003
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              Posted: December 3, 2007, 4:37 pm - IP Logged

              If the $853M was the only funding provided by the GA lottery there's a whole lot more wrong than $3M in bonuses. With $3.4B in sales, the payout to the educational funds from the lottery would only be about 25% of sales. Given that the Fantasy 5 game has pari-mutuel payouts and the Cash3 and Cash4 games pay out 50% or slightly less, that leaves another $850M used for administrative expenses and contract costs. That seems rather high to me.

              Blessed Saint Leibowitz, keep 'em dreamin' down there..... 

              Next week's convention for Psychics and Prognosticators has been cancelled due to unforeseen circumstances.

               =^.^=

                Captain Lotto's avatar - CaptLotto
                Jefferson City, MO
                United States
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                September 20, 2007
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                Posted: December 3, 2007, 4:53 pm - IP Logged

                I don't know anything about Georgia, but not all games have equal payouts.  You'd have to look at what they return to the state overall.  For instance, some Scratchers games have higher prize structures than other types of games.  It's not unlike the casino, where the slots sometimes return 90% as prizes and the house makes it up on table games.  They probably release information on the cost of administration as a percentage of sales. 

                Captain Lotto

                "Every day is a good day!"

                  JAP69's avatar - alas
                  South Carolina
                  United States
                  Member #6
                  November 4, 2001
                  8790 Posts
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                  Posted: December 3, 2007, 5:23 pm - IP Logged

                  So whats the beef with the lawmakers. Madd because they are not on the end of the receiving stick. Ask the lawmakers how much extra they get above their salary to be on committes and all the other perks.

                  It,s all right here in a nutshell. And playing the lottery is voluntary on the citizens.

                  She also said it's not fair to compare the lottery to state agencies, because it raises all the money it spends rather than relying on annual appropriations from the state.

                  So how do lawmakers fund their fancy budget and programs.

                  Raise taxes

                  WHATT

                    littlejsing's avatar - DiscoBallGlowing

                    United States
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                    Posted: December 3, 2007, 6:28 pm - IP Logged

                    I've seen firsthand in other institutions how end-of-the-year bonuses can diminish the overall quality of services.  Here in Tennessee the lottery machines provide substandard performance, even the ballots are now printed on such a low grade of paper quality the machine has greater difficulty reading them.  

                    You can bet Ms Hargrove and her cronies will share the pie left over from these and other corners cut.  Bonuses should be distributed according to quality of services provided not quantity saved.  The number one priority in our state is suppose to be money to fund Education not to make the rich richer.  Honestly it's disgusting! 

                      chasingadream's avatar - Archangel 01.jpg

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                      May 3, 2006
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                      Posted: December 3, 2007, 11:23 pm - IP Logged

                      Lawmakers fail to take into consideration those bonu$e$ were originally negotiated by none other than Paul-Hargrove whose track record toward the last of her tenure failed to merit her huge salary bonus she secured for herself.

                      Ms. DeFrancisco at a much lower salary than Paul-Hargrove has turned the Georgia Lottery around to a real performer .... players are happily spending money.   

                      Current Georgia Lottery integrity is reflected in sales performance lead by Ms. DeFrancisco.  Let them keep their merit bonuses .... they've well earned them.

                      i agree

                      Oogle  waiting patiently for my jackpot

                        Avatar
                        Oklahoma City
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                        Posted: December 4, 2007, 10:39 am - IP Logged

                        "He said, "There is no accountability...."  Woah woah...  Someone from the government is talking about no accountability?  Weird....  But really does anyone know how much more money these people would be making if they were CEO, president, or director of a private organization??  I guarantee you it would be WAY more than they are making currently.  They are brining in billions of dollars in profits!  Think of other companies that bring in that much money and how much their CEOs are making.  Talking about accountability....  c'mon.  The state is lucky to have people that enjoy their job so much to stay.   

                          Avatar
                          Lithonia,GA
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                          October 5, 2004
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                          Posted: December 4, 2007, 12:56 pm - IP Logged

                          I have not trusted the Georgia lottery in a couple years now.  They rip off the cash 3 and cash 4 players. Repeat numbers, always the same old numbers month after month. How many draws has it been since they brought a triple????   I see people in the store spending there last dollars in hope that one of the numbers they've played for months would come out. (I"ve done it myself).  And I know it's not going to happen, and don't want to rain on there parade.   There is a slim chance to win anything on the cash three or four anymore. Last week I saw a guy spend $50 on triples. Now we know where all the money there making is going. I don't think they are honest with there payout information either.

                          How many more things are they going to come out with that cost $20. The raffle, Millionare scratch off. I'm not saying it's not worth the chance, I'm saying that it may not be affordable for the average working person.  Someone's getting richer!!!!  And I don't think it's the average lottery player.

                           

                            Captain Lotto's avatar - CaptLotto
                            Jefferson City, MO
                            United States
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                            September 20, 2007
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                            Posted: December 4, 2007, 3:16 pm - IP Logged

                            Not to defend the Georgia Lottery, but you should know a few things about odds and statistics.  It's impossible to predict Pick 3 numbers because it's a random event, but the odds of triples being drawn is about 1 in 1000.  That means with 2 drawings a day, you'd "expect" triples to come out about once every year and a half. 

                            And I'm not a fan of the higher and higher price points that Lotteries seem to be going to, but a number of "high roller" players seem to like them.  Most of the time, those games have a higher prize structure, meaning they put more prizes into them.  Don't get me wrong, the Lottery is designed to earn money for the state, so don't go thinking playing is your ticket to wealth.  You should only play for fun. 

                            Captain Lotto

                            "Every day is a good day!"