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Longtime Kentucky Lottery director dies following fall

Jul 5, 2016, 8:24 am

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Kentucky LotteryKentucky Lottery: Longtime Kentucky Lottery director dies following fallRating:

Arthur L. "Arch"  Gleason, the longtime head of the Kentucky Lottery Corp. died on Friday following a fall in Cincinnati.

Gleason, who was 69, had just announced his retirement three weeks ago after nearly 23 years as president of the Kentucky Lottery. He was the longest-serving lottery head in the nation.

"I think that's what bothers us most," said Chip Polston, the lottery spokesman. "He was finally at the point to enjoy the later years of his life and then this happens."

Former Gov. Brereton Jones brought Gleason to Kentucky in 1993 to clean up the state's lottery, which had gone through three executive directors in the previous four years and had just been the subject of a scathing audit that found irregularities in hiring, contracting and spending.

In the wake of the audit, virtually all of the lottery corporation's board was ousted and the entire lottery board resigned. Over the next two decades, Gleason ran the lottery without the drama or scandal that preceded him, but sometimes ran afoul of the state legislature by assiduously protecting the lottery's reserves.

In 2015, when the legislature demanded the lottery turn over $11 million from its reserve, Gleason balked, writing a check to the state for just $5 million. He argued that the lottery needed to keep an ample reserve in order to pay all winning tickets or risk the trust people had placed in the lottery.

"You've got a board that has basically thumbed its nose at the General Assembly. That's a real issue," Chris McDaniel, a Taylor Mill Republican who chairs the Senate budget committee, said in response. "We don't pass these budget bills as an exercise."

During his time in Kentucky, Gleason kept his home number in the phone book so he could answer questions or concerns about the lottery.

Polston said Gleason was most proud of the number of students who were able to attend college because of more than $2.5 billion that was returned to the state for the KEES Scholarship program.

A few years ago, Polston said a student who benefited from one of the scholarships invited Gleason to his college graduation party. Gleason didn't know the student but attended the party anyway. "

In recent years, the Kentucky Lottery has introduced a string of new games, increased revenue and the return to the state treasury, while at the same time increasing payouts to players.

The lottery board recently announced that it is on pace to set a record for ticket sales in the current fiscal year ending June 30.

Gleason's retirement was scheduled to begin on July 29, but he hadn't been at work of late because of an illness, Polston said.

When he announced his retirement, lottery board chairman June Hudson praised his service but promised that the lottery would carry on.

"Through Arch's leadership, the Kentucky Lottery has grown to realize nearly $1 billion a year in sales," she said. "Students all across Kentucky have benefited from his leadership, as more than $2.5 billion have gone to college scholarship and grant programs under his tenure.

"While we are sad to see him go, we wish him the best of luck in this new chapter in his life."

Gleason said in an interview last month that one of his disappointments was state lawmakers never approved the lottery's introduction of video games and machines at racetracks.

"We were ready, willing and able and the best agency to do so, but (state officials) preferred not to do so," he said.

Reared in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, Gleason came to Kentucky following two stints as lottery director in West Virginia.

Gleason is survived by his wife of 48 years, Annie Gleason;  his children, Archie (Rachel); Colleen; Katie; and Ryan (Kenzie); and seven grandchildren.

Visitation will be at Highlands Funeral Home at 3331 Taylorsville Rd. on Friday from 3-7 p.m., and a funeral mass will be held at Epiphany Catholic Church at 914 Old Harrods Creek Rd. on Saturday morning.

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9 comments. Last comment 5 years ago by DMUNCH.
Page 1 of 1
Raven62's avatar - binary
New Jersey
United States
Member #17842
June 28, 2005
148453 Posts

R. I. P.

A mind once stretched by a new idea never returns to its original dimensions!

Catch-22: A dilemma or difficult circumstance from which there is no escape because of mutually conflicting or dependent conditions.

Corruptissima re publica plurimae leges: When the republic is at its most corrupt the laws are most numerous.

The best way to learn is to never stop being a student!

    Saylorgirl's avatar - Lottery-065.jpg
    United States
    Member #129219
    June 13, 2012
    595 Posts

    R. I. P.  So sorry he never had a chance to enjoy his retirement.

      TheMeatman2005's avatar - lightening
      Brooklyn, NY
      United States
      Member #169716
      October 29, 2015
      1537 Posts

      Blue Angel R.I.P. Mr Gleason Blue Angel

      The Meatman 🥩🍗🍔🍖🍤🌭

      “The quickest way to double your money is to fold it in half and put it in your back pocket.” Will Rogers

      Winning happens in a flash, Like A Bolt Of Lightning!  Patriot

        United States
        Member #163182
        January 22, 2015
        2760 Posts

        Being a transplant to KY, I can honestly say Arch has done so much good for the KY lottery and college bound students as well.  It is a very transparent lottery unlike other horror stories you can read about on LP. 

        He will be sorely missed and can only hope his replacement is as compassionate as he was.

          lejardin's avatar - Lottery-014.jpg

          United States
          Member #118604
          November 4, 2011
          1442 Posts

          How very sad.  He sounds like a great example to the rest of the lottery heads.

            * In hot pursuit of $ *
            White Shores- California
            United States
            Member #136471
            December 12, 2012
            6762 Posts

            A Man of courage and testicular fortitude.

             * Voice of Reason *   

            * People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it- George Bernard Shaw.

              music*'s avatar - DiscoBallGlowing
              Fresno, California
              United States
              Member #157849
              August 2, 2014
              3959 Posts

              Arch Gleason fell victim to what kills a lot of senior citizens. Illness and falls. The illness may have affected him physically and mentally. He might have have been unsure about his balance and fell.

              He will be missed. Rest in Peace.

               "We are all in this together!" 

                sully16's avatar - sharan
                United States
                Member #81738
                October 28, 2009
                92544 Posts

                RIP, My condolences to his friends and family.

                Hello Friends. See Ya!

                  New Member
                  Money City
                  Trinidad and Tobago
                  Member #162585
                  January 6, 2015
                  2 Posts

                  Condolences to the family, former co-workers and friends of Mr Gleason , You are an example

                  for the world to follow . I have no idea who you are but  Rest in Peace my friend .