The chief executive officer of the Tennessee lottery said yesterday that she is expecting upward of 20,000 applications for the lottery's approximately 300 jobs.
Among the openings are a few senior staff positions that pay upward of $150,000 a year. Lottery CEO Rebecca Paul says she hopes to have those positions filled by the end of the week.
People hired to fill those executive positions will serve on a committee that will evaluate proposals from companies wanting to snare a multimillion-dollar contract to provide the Tennessee lottery with instant-ticket and online lottery games.
However, Paul will not serve on the committee.
"I have never served on an evaluation, and I never hope to," she said.
The lottery committee will recommend, but the final vendor decision will be made by the lottery board appointed by Gov. Phil Bredesen.
A request for proposal, or bid solicitation, for lottery vendors was posted on the lottery Web site last Friday.
Vendors have until tomorrow to submit questions to Paul about the bid solicitation, and she has until Monday to respond to those questions. Completed requests or bids are due Oct. 31.
Paul got the bid solicitation out to vendors five days ahead of schedule, helping her chances at getting a six-figure bonus if she has the scratch-off games operating by Feb. 10, 2004.
"Originally, we had talked about notice of intent to award a contract the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, but the schedule moves to the Monday before Thanksgiving," Paul said.
If she has instant ticket sales up by Feb. 10, she will make a bonus of $192,500 on top of her base salary of $350,000. She could receive other bonuses that would push her total compensation for the year to more than $750,000.
Although some legislators have been critical of her salary and bonus package, her supporters say she is worth every penny because every day that the lottery opens early means an additional $1 million in gross lottery sales.
Gov. Phil Bredesen said yesterday that he is pleased that the lottery is "moving forward very aggressively.
"I think they are very much on track to get it going sometime in February. At this point I feel very good about how all this is going."