Bills filed in legislature; supported by Senate and House leadership
The Tennessee state legislature may force the state lottery to return to using numbered balls to select winners for the Cash 3 and Cash 4 games.
Legislative leaders have expressed concern about the lottery's switch to computerized drawings, especially after a computer glitch last year.
Sen. Bill Ketron, R-Murfreesboro, and Rep. Jason Mumpower, R-Bristol, the House's minority leader, have filed bills to require the lottery to use numbered balls, not computers, to draw winning numbers.
House Speaker Jimmy Naifeh, D-Covington, and Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey, R-Blountville, back the effort.
"If the balls dropping gives the people a better comfort level that it's being run right, then I think that's where we ought to go," Naifeh said last week. He's not convinced by the lottery's argument that it would cost $5.5 million to return to the pingpong ball drawings. "I don't understand that," Naifeh said.
The lottery's random-number-generating computers malfunctioned last summer, rendering them incapable of drawing repeating digits as winners in the Cash 3 and Cash 4 games. The problem wasn't discovered for several weeks.
Gov. Phil Bredesen told The Tennessean on Friday that he won't resist efforts by the legislature to return to numbered balls for lottery drawings, although he believes public confidence remains high in the computerized system.