The Tennessee lottery will open five district offices that will serve as prize claim centers, including three in East Tennessee.
The offices, which also will house regional sales teams, will be in Memphis, Nashville, Chattanooga, Knoxville and the Tri-Cities in Upper East Tennessee, lottery Chief Executive Officer Rebecca Paul said at yesterday's board meeting.
Winners of prizes of more than $600 will have to get the money from a district office. Paul said she picked the five locations so Tennesseans will be no more than two hours from a district office.
The lottery is on track to sell its first tickets by Feb. 10, which is when Paul expects to have the district offices open, she said.
Paul said she is a couple of days ahead of schedule in the process of getting out bids for two major gaming contracts the scratch-off tickets and the electronic numbers game. She plans to send the documents today to the state Lottery Procurement Panel, which could have them approved within a week.
Paul will begin looking for office space today for a headquarters in Nashville, she said. The headquarters and Nashville district office could be housed together, she said.
The board welcomed Agenia Clark as the human resources director. Clark, who served in that same position at Vanderbilt University, is being paid a base salary of $100,000, plus a bonus.
All lottery employees will be paid an incentive bonus, with the sales staff working under a commission plan, Paul said. Compensation levels could reach as high as $150,000, plus bonuses.
''We are not competing with state government for employees. Our competition is the private market,'' board member Deborah Storey said, citing Coca-Cola, Mars candy and Frito-Lay as competitors.