CHARLESTON, W.Va. — John Musgrave, the longtime director of the West Virginia Lottery, announced his retirement Thursday, bringing to a close a more than 19-year run that has included work for four different governors.
"I love this job. I've been so fortunate. I like doing what I do and serving this administration, as well as the others, but there's something that just tells me it's time," Musgrave told MetroNews.
The lottery had annual revenue of approximately $220 million when Musgrave took over. It now has topped $1 billion in sales for several years. He oversaw the expansion of gambling approved by state lawmakers and governors including video lottery machines at racetracks, the legalization of the so-called gray machines at video lottery parlors and the introduction of table games.
Musgrave, whose retirement becomes effective Oct. 31, has worked for both Democratic and Republican governors. He believes he survived because it was key to maintain the same leadership for such an important revenue source.
"They felt it was very important to have consistency and I think that had a lot to do with it," Musgrave said.
His leadership style has been one of hiring good people and allowing them to grow into their positions. That has created a strong staff, Musgrave said.
"We've got a great team left here and so I leave with confidence that the Lottery is in the right hands and we have the right people to move it forward," he said.
Musgrave said he'll miss handing out those oversized checks to lottery winners.
"I've had the opportunity to meet folks who have taken their winnings and they've just absolutely given back to the community. So that's a great part of this job," he said.
Musgrave has been in state government for two dozen years. He's also served as acting Secretary of Revenue and Deputy Secretary of Revenue.
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