OKLAHOMA CITY — The Oklahoma Lottery Commission wants to get a law changed to assist it with investigations.
The agency wants to change a law that bans all of its employees from purchasing tickets, said Rollo Redburn, Oklahoma Lottery Commission executive director.
"It would be somebody in our security department who could purchase a ticket in the confines of an investigation," said Jay Finks, Oklahoma Lottery Commission director of marketing and administration.
Currently, the agency sends out investigators to ensure retailers are handling the tickets appropriately, Redburn said.
An Oklahoma City clerk was recently fired after pocketing a consumer's winning ticket, Redburn said. The action, while rare, was uncovered following a Lottery Commission investigation, Redburn said.
"We may go out and do 10 or 12 spot investigations and everybody does what they are supposed to do usually," Redburn said. "As in this one case, one made a bad decision and decided he would try to keep that winning ticket."
The agency currently has three employees in its security department, Redburn said. The agency also works with local law enforcement, Redburn said.
"You are limited in what you can go do if you can't buy a ticket," Finks said. "You are not getting the experience customers might get."
"That makes sense if somebody is out there doing something wrong," said Mike Thornbrugh, QuikTrip manager of public and government affairs.
Thornbrugh said his company has never had any instances where a clerk kept a winning ticket. "We are fortunate," he said. "We have never had any issues."
Both Redburn and Finks said if the law were changed to allow security personnel to purchase tickets, the employee would not be allowed to keep the proceeds should the ticket be a winner.
Redburn said the agency's biggest complaint about retailers from consumers is that the consumer was paid incorrectly.
"The nice thing about our system is we have the ability to go out and see what happened if they can remember where and when," he said.
Normally, the complaint turns out to be invalid, Redburn said.