Lottery industry leader to step back after 32 years of service
By Kate Northrop
The Texas Lottery's Executive Director and longest-serving member Gary Grief announced he will retire at the end of February 2024.
After 32 years of loyal service and dedication to the Texas Lottery, Executive Director Gary Grief will retire next month.
Since 2010, Grief led the Texas Lottery in its mission to generate revenue for public education and veterans' services. He dedicated himself to a variety of roles at the Lottery throughout his 32-year career, including assistant claim center supervisor, acting claim center supervisor, claim center manager, and lottery operations director. He also served as acting executive director and deputy executive director two separate times each before being selected to run the Lottery as executive director in 2010.
"It has been an honor to serve the people of Texas and contribute to the incredible success of the Texas Lottery," Grief said in a press release. "I am grateful for the opportunity to have worked with a dedicated team that has built the Texas Lottery into one of the preeminent lotteries in the world, and I'm very proud of the positive impact we've made on public education, veterans' services and other important causes in Texas over the years."
Under Grief's leadership, the Texas Lottery saw record-breaking sales levels every year. During his time as Executive Director, the Lottery generated $19.5 billion for public education and veterans' services in Texas.
"Gary leaves an indelible legacy of growth and excellence at the Texas Lottery," Lottery Commission Chairman Robert Rivera noted. "His leadership, passion and dedication have been instrumental in advancing our mission. We thank him for his outstanding service and wish him a fulfilling retirement."
The Lottery consistently saw contributions of over $1 billion to the State of Texas while Grief sat at the helm. The state even saw more than $2 billion for the first time in the agency's history in the most recent completed fiscal year, the Lottery said in a statement. The Lottery shot up from a $3.73 billion sales operation in the 2010 Fiscal Year to a $8.73 billion enterprise in 2023.
During Grief's career, the Texas Lottery dependably led the charge in revolutionizing the industry and keeping the game interesting for players. Not only was Texas the first state to offer a $50 scratch-off back in 2007, but it also became the first in the nation to release a $100 scratch-off ticket as well. Just this past year, the Lottery announced plans to send winners into space.
Grief's efforts and contributions to a U.S. Lottery soar beyond the state of Texas, having served on numerous Multi-State Lottery Association (MUSL) and North American State and Provincial Lottery Association (NASPL) workgroups and committees. From September 2010 to August 2012, he acted as the Game Lead Director for the Mega Millions multi-state game and spoke for the game group on the world stage when the jackpot boasted a record high in 2012. He frequently spoke at both international and national lottery events and delivered several keynote addresses as a sought-after speaker and leader in the industry.
2014 marked the year when the Texas Lottery joined MUSL while Grief served as NASPL President. He chaired the Powerball Game during the historic $1.6 billion Powerball jackpot fever in January 2016, later taking up the role of MUSL President in 2017.
Grief received the NASPL Powers Award in 2002 for his outstanding contributions to the lottery, the Public Gaming Research Institute's (PGRI) Major Peter J. O'Connell Lottery Industry Lifetime Achievement Award in 2012, and was inducted into the PGRI Lottery Industry Hall of Fame in 2014.
Heading into retirement, Grief said he plans on traveling with his wife and spending more time with his family and grandchildren.