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Georgia Lottery gets new director Jan. 1

Nov 28, 2017, 9:23 pm

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Georgia Lottery President Debbie Alford, who has headed the agency that raises money for the HOPE scholarship and prekindergarten classes since 2012, is retiring from her post.

Gov. Nathan Deal announced Tuesday that he is nominating Gretchen Corbin, the commissioner of the state's technical college system, to replace Alford. Corbin was previously commissioner of the state's Department of Community Affairs. The lottery board will vote on the recommendation, but the vote is typically a formality. Corbin is expected to take over Jan. 1 if she is approved by the board, Deal's office said.

Deal is recommending Corbin be replaced by Matt Arthur, her deputy commissioner at the technical college system.

Alford was Deal's budget director before being chosen to lead the lottery, which raises more than $1 billion a year for college scholarship and prekindergarten programs.

She was a controversial choice at the time because she did not have experience running a lottery, as did her predecessors.

Deal's choice of Alford caused one lottery board member to quit in protest. Frances Rogers, who had served on the board since late 2010, said she felt there was undue influence on the board to choose Alford, and it compromised the board's search.

During Alford's tenure, lottery profits going toward education continued to rise, and in 2016 the total hit $1 billion for the first time.

But her agency also had to fight back calls by lawmakers to put a higher percentage of ticket-sale revenue toward state programs. Lottery officials said higher prize payouts attracted more players, and thus more money for education.

Legislation that would set a minimum percentage of ticket sales going toward HOPE and prekindergarten programs is pending in the General Assembly and may be rekindled during the 2018 session, which begins in January.

During Alford's tenure, she and the lottery were the subject of a 2015 whistleblower lawsuit from a former executive who claimed he was fired after refusing to support inflated sales projections. A Fulton County judge earlier this year ruled the case could go forward.

"The critical programs funded by the Georgia Lottery, including the HOPE Scholarship and Georgia Pre-K, help millions of children across the state earn a quality education from start to finish," said Deal. "Debbie's leadership helped to secure the largest funding transfers on record in the 24-year history of the lottery, providing more students with a strong foundation for continued success both in the classroom and the future workforce.

"I am confident that the incoming leadership at the Georgia Lottery, as well as TCSG, will continue to do exceptional work in connecting students throughout Georgia with the resources and support needed to reach their fullest potential."

AJC, Lottery Post Staff

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5 comments. Last comment 3 years ago by konane.
Page 1 of 1
Avatar
Chasing $ Millions.
White Shores- California
United States
Member #136473
December 12, 2012
6312 Posts
Offline

Well as they say in Georgia: So long Debbie, Welcome Gretchen!

 * 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
    USN United States Navy
    Fresno, California
    United States
    Member #157851
    August 2, 2014
    3959 Posts
    Offline

     Georgia Lottery President Debbie Alford will be missed. Especially on YouTube videos where I see her. Congratulations to her for running a successful team. Enjoy your retirement!!Dance

     "We are all in this together!" 

      SHAWNTAEC's avatar - yocco
      metter georgia
      United States
      Member #94851
      July 28, 2010
      392 Posts
      Offline

       GO GA!!

      shanteUS Flag

        Avatar
        Simpsonville
        United States
        Member #163184
        January 22, 2015
        2257 Posts
        Offline

         GO GA!!

        Congratulations on your retirement. 

         

        On occasion will put up their website and go to winners...seems to be plenty posted.

         

        Mississippi...are you paying attention.  Forget about Alabama having a lottery, just a pedophile running for Senate...oops.

          konane's avatar - wallace
          Atlanta, GA
          United States
          Member #1265
          March 13, 2003
          5862 Posts
          Offline

          Congratulations Ms Alford on doing a great job and your retirement. 

          "Legislation that would set a minimum percentage of ticket sales going toward HOPE and prekindergarten programs is pending in the General Assembly and may be rekindled during the 2018 session, which begins in January."

             Agree with stupid   Legislators everywhere seem to have a bad case of myopia. If legislators would realize that when payouts offer more, lottery players play more and bottom to the lottery along with programs funded will be greater.

          Have fun and the best of luck to everyone! Sun Smiley