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Tenn. lawmakers want to force lottery to drop computer draws

Tennessee LotteryTennessee Lottery: Tenn. lawmakers want to force lottery to drop computer draws
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There is new discussion in the Tennessee Legislature about the possibility of the state lottery going back to using ping-pong balls to select the Cash 3 and Cash 4 winners.

In 2007, a computer programming error prevented anyone who played repeated digits, such as two fives in a row, from winning.

The error was discovered Aug. 20 when lottery officials contacted the system designer, Smartplay, about their concerns.

The lottery is asking Smartplay, and the company that certified the system, Gaming Laboratories, to pay nearly $1.5 million in damages.

House Minority Leader Jason Mumpower said the glitches caused players to lose confidence in the lottery, and he thinks the way to restore trust is to ditch the computers and go back to picking balls that have numbers on them.

"In my 12 years of service in the House of Representatives, the only other issue I've heard this much about is a state income tax," said Mumpower.

An audit that was released by the state on March 18 said the 2007 computer error was preventable and the lottery wasn't prepared to catch such a mistake.

Mumpower said the audit only reinforces that a change is needed.

"Over two million tickets were sold that were worthless, but only 700,000 of those were able to be refunded because people had thrown their tickets away, so we had Tennesseans that lost money," said Mumpower.

Gov. Phil Bredesen said the issue would have to be looked at closely since he did not think lawmakers should overstretch their boundaries.

"I think they should adopt a moderate managerial attitude here and maybe express their concerns, adopt a resolution, but leave it to the lottery board that they created to make these decisions about how to operate the lottery day-to-day," said Bredesen.

Lottery officials said going back to the ping-pong balls has a $5 million price tag.  The Tennessee Lottery has only generally described how they came up with that figure, mostly involving television costs.

Tennessee Lottery CEO Rebecca Hargrove did not provide a price tag of conducting ball drawings using alternative broadcast methods, such as Web-based broadcasts.  It is widely known that Web-based broadcasts are far less expensive than traditional television, and the number of people with Internet access in the state is likely close to the number of people with televisions.

Lawmakers also discuss changing lotto scholarships

Members of the Senate Education Committee on Wednesday discussed compromise legislation that would phase in a plan to lower the cumulative grade point average needed to maintain a lottery scholarship.

The measure would be part of a bill proposed by Republican Education Chairwoman Jamie Woodson of Knoxville.

Under current rules, a student must be enrolled full time in college, have a GPA of at least 2.75 after their freshman year and a cumulative 3.0 GPA for subsequent years to keep the scholarship.

An education subcommittee had previously proposed lowering the retention GPA to 2.75 through a student's junior year, then bumping it back up to 3.0 the senior year.

But Sen. Joe Haynes was among some on the committee on Wednesday who want the GPA to stay at 2.75.

"I've come to think ... that a 3.0 in high school is really equivalent to a 2.75 at the college level," the Goodlettsville Democrat said. "For that reason, I think we're penalizing our students."

Sen. Bill Ketron, who is an education subcommittee member, says the phase-in proposal is better because of tight budget projections. He said the state has about $23 million in recurring lottery money to work with and permanently reducing the retention GPA would cost roughly $17 million.

"We only have so many dollars," said the Murfreesboro Republican on Wednesday.

The Senate Education Committee is expected to take up Woodson's bill again next week, and Haynes said at that time he will recommend making the 2.75 retention GPA permanent.

Many lawmakers on both sides of the aisle, as well as Gov. Phil Bredesen, believe reducing the GPA would allow more students to keep the scholarships.

But opponents have said dropping it would lower education standards and reflect badly on a state that perennially ranks in the lower percentile when it comes to education.

Figures released earlier this year by the Tennessee Higher Education Commission helped change some minds. THEC reported that 50 percent of students lost their lottery HOPE scholarships after their first year in college and 68 percent by their fourth year.

Even though the subcommittee proposal doesn't include a student's senior year, Ketron believes it would still make a difference.

"Usually by your senior year, you know how to study, you know what you're going to do and where you're going," he said. "And hopefully those courses are a little bit easier than they were your sophomore and junior years."

Later Wednesday, House Education Committee Chairman Les Winningham delayed action on a proposal to keep the retention GPA at 2.75. The Huntsville Democrat said he doesn't like the idea of phasing it in.

"I think we set it at 2.75 and we keep it there," he said.

WSMV, Lottery Post Staff

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39 comments. Last comment 9 years ago by tnwatchdogs.
Page 1 of 3

United States
Member #58528
February 18, 2008
710 Posts
Offline
Posted: March 26, 2008, 9:58 pm - IP Logged

Dropping computer drawings and returning to live ball drawings would go a long way in regaining the faith of lottery players.Getting rid of Rebecca Hargrove would go even further.

    Avatar
    New Member
    Tennessee
    United States
    Member #3596
    February 3, 2004
    13 Posts
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    Posted: March 26, 2008, 10:05 pm - IP Logged

    As much as I think that Rebecca did a great job getting the TN lottery up and running in a short amount of time, she has now cashed it all of her credibility, and so I second the motion for her resignation.  All in favor, say aye...

      Avatar
      Kentucky
      United States
      Member #1528
      May 18, 2003
      728 Posts
      Offline
      Posted: March 26, 2008, 10:25 pm - IP Logged

      Who are they going to pay it too.

        LOTTOMIKE's avatar - cash money.jpg
        Tennessee
        United States
        Member #7853
        October 15, 2004
        11338 Posts
        Offline
        Posted: March 26, 2008, 10:25 pm - IP Logged

        earlier this month this happened.....

         

         

        CASH 43/4/2008Evening2371$87,800.00
        CASH 43/3/2008Mid-Day1372$13,900.00
        CASH 43/3/2008Evening1723$53,400.00

         

         

        funny thing is i bet the tennessee lottery let it slip on by but i caught on.

          LOTTOMIKE's avatar - cash money.jpg
          Tennessee
          United States
          Member #7853
          October 15, 2004
          11338 Posts
          Offline
          Posted: March 26, 2008, 10:28 pm - IP Logged

          even if they only broadcast the ball draws on the internet and not on television i'd still be happy.just bring back the balls....and get rid of the witch.

            Todd's avatar - Cylon 2.gif
            Chief Bottle Washer
            New Jersey
            United States
            Member #1
            May 31, 2000
            23273 Posts
            Online
            Posted: March 26, 2008, 10:46 pm - IP Logged

            earlier this month this happened.....

             

             

            CASH 43/4/2008Evening2371$87,800.00
            CASH 43/3/2008Mid-Day1372$13,900.00
            CASH 43/3/2008Evening1723$53,400.00

             

             

            funny thing is i bet the tennessee lottery let it slip on by but i caught on.

            I hope you're send this info to the legislators mentioned in the story (and in past stories).  They can use this when pushing for the change. 

            They need all of our help to make it happen .... get involved!

             

            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
              23273 Posts
              Online
              Posted: March 26, 2008, 10:47 pm - IP Logged

              Dropping computer drawings and returning to live ball drawings would go a long way in regaining the faith of lottery players.Getting rid of Rebecca Hargrove would go even further.

              Amen to that.

               

              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 #58528
                February 18, 2008
                710 Posts
                Offline
                Posted: March 26, 2008, 10:56 pm - IP Logged

                Amen to that.

                The only problem I would have with Rebecca Hargrove being replaced is that the Iowa Lottery might try to recruit her since Iowas lottery head just retired.I hope they promote from within.

                  JADELottery's avatar - MeAtWork 03.PNG
                  The Quantum Master
                  West Concord, MN
                  United States
                  Member #21
                  December 7, 2001
                  3675 Posts
                  Offline
                  Posted: March 27, 2008, 12:10 am - IP Logged

                  Hey TN,

                  When you do go to Natural Ball Drawn Numbers, send me that PC you've been using to pick those Unnatural Computer Generated Number. I want to reverse engineer / decomplie the code used to pick those wack numbers. Maybe see if there is something on there that shouldn't be on there, you-know-what-i'm-sayin'... or at least you should... know-what-i'm-sayin'...  Wink ...you'll find out. Cool

                  Presented 'AS IS' and for Entertainment Purposes Only.
                  Any gain or loss is your responsibility.
                  Use at your own risk.

                  Order is a Subset of Chaos
                  Knowledge is Beyond Belief
                  Wisdom is Not Censored
                  Douglas Paul Smallish
                  Jehocifer

                    four4me's avatar - gate1
                    MD
                    United States
                    Member #1701
                    June 18, 2003
                    8362 Posts
                    Offline
                    Posted: March 27, 2008, 2:23 am - IP Logged

                    This article is a little scary. It makes me feel bad that the elected officials cant work together to solve this matter. Jason Mumpower is on the right tract. Gov. Phil Bredesen should realize it's the people who play the lottery and they should have had a say so in the mater. The lawmakers agreed to a lottery and now he doesn't want them to be a part of reorganizing the lottery drawings. The people depend on the lawmakers to make decisions for them when they do not have a direct say so in the matter. The people cant force Hargrove to switch back to ball drawings. Only elected officials can.

                    Hargrove is at the helm of the lottery but should not be in total control. She switched lottery drawings from real ball drawings to computerized drawing without so much as a hint to lottery players prior to doing so. Except for a one line sentence buried inside another article on their web page a statement was made about an exciting new way to draw the numbers and that was it. DONE and implemented. Many lottery players are opposed to computers drawing numbers. I know she is aware of that. And it is probably one of the reasons she didn't bother to let the general public in on her desire to switch from ball drawings the computerized drawings. She knew the outcome would be not to switch drawing types.

                    Regardless of her intentions she jumped the gun implemented computerized drawings and because of her hastily decision to do so caused the lottery to conduct drawings without extensive testing of the software that produces the numbers and we all know what happen next. That software was defective and a programing error cause a glitch which went unnoticed for weeks. She put the blame on everyone but herself.

                    Now for the main reason to switch back to real live ball drawings. The software can be manipulated at the push of a button they can control the outcome of a drawing. There is no way of knowing if the software is corrupted on any given day. The players don't want computers drawing the numbers. Find some way of conducting real live ball drawings and get back to the business at hand. Making money for the Tennessee schooling programs.

                    Find and or seek out ways to conduct live ball drawings in a cost effective manner like other states that have live ball drawings. Hargrove is a member of the lottery association she can confer with them for tips on how to conduct ball drawings.

                    Many thanks to House Minority Leader Jason Mumpower for looking into this matter and doing his best to help get things back to normalcy.

                      LOTTOMIKE's avatar - cash money.jpg
                      Tennessee
                      United States
                      Member #7853
                      October 15, 2004
                      11338 Posts
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                      Posted: March 27, 2008, 2:42 am - IP Logged

                      personally i can't stand Gov. Phil Bredesen.for one he took away a half million peoples health insurance here including people with epilepsy,cancer,etc. including me when i was sick myself at the time.he completely ignores things he doesn't want to bother with or dismisses them without looking into it further.the statement about him makes me think he'll be the roadblock in the whole deal.i wish bredesen would just step back and let other people handle this and go take care of other issues.

                        Littleoldlady's avatar - basket
                        Clarksville
                        United States
                        Member #487
                        July 15, 2002
                        17638 Posts
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                        Posted: March 27, 2008, 5:20 am - IP Logged

                        I have to say that he is the best govenor that I have seen in TN.  He is FOR the state.  He has to be the one to make the tough choices.  He is correct in his statement ..let the lottery commission do their job.  Instead of getting mired down in the lottery mess, the legislature could give them a list of questions to investigate.  The first question on the list I would give them is how does using balls costs 5 million more per year?  Is that the salaries of the people who draw the balls?  If it is, I WANT that job!  If it is television, they should be able to work that out so the cost is lower.  They only use about 1-1:30 minutes of television time with the computers giving the drawings  but they run MORE commercials. Commercials cost money.

                        If you know your number is going to hit, have patience and then KILL IT!

                        You never know when you will get another hit.

                          four4me's avatar - gate1
                          MD
                          United States
                          Member #1701
                          June 18, 2003
                          8362 Posts
                          Offline
                          Posted: March 27, 2008, 11:58 am - IP Logged

                          Every lottery has operating expenses and thats where the committee should start trimming the fat and finding ways to conduct live ball lottery drawings that are cost effective. Hargrove claims that they have conducted drawings in the past and had several TV stations in on the deal this isn't necessary as they only need one station to conduct the drawing and the rest of the stations that are willing could just post the numbers in a little box one the right hand portion of the TV screen during the preempted show that airs shortly after the drawing occurs.

                            four4me's avatar - gate1
                            MD
                            United States
                            Member #1701
                            June 18, 2003
                            8362 Posts
                            Offline
                            Posted: March 27, 2008, 2:45 pm - IP Logged

                            personally i can't stand Gov. Phil Bredesen.for one he took away a half million peoples health insurance here including people with epilepsy,cancer,etc. including me when i was sick myself at the time.he completely ignores things he doesn't want to bother with or dismisses them without looking into it further.the statement about him makes me think he'll be the roadblock in the whole deal.i wish bredesen would just step back and let other people handle this and go take care of other issues.

                            Thats just great at a time when Tennesseans need his support and he might possibly take notice of these posts. I would think since you detest computerized drawings so much that you and all Tennesseans might want to convince the governor of that, instead you berate him publicly.

                            Mike you have to remember ultimately it's the people that have the power but in order to get them to implement change you must stick together and act as one voice.