The California lottery, public schools and the mystery of the 'missing' money
By Steve Lopez
Where is the money from the lottery going? asked a reader named Jean.
It never fails. Write about school funding shortages in California, and the emails start pouring in from people who insist the lottery was supposed to solve all our education money issues and wonder why it hasn't.
The latest barrage came after my column last week about Measure EE, the L.A. Unified parcel tax that suffered a crushing defeat at the polls on June 4, despite a projected budget deficit in c ...
Jun 19, 2019, 8:00 am - Lottery News forum
Former tribal lobbyist named as new California Lottery director
California Gov. Gavin Newsom appointed Alva Vernon Johnson to take over the the state's lottery Monday, after former director Hugo Lopez stepped down Friday amid investigations.
Johnson, a former tribal lobbyist, takes over a department that has been been under scrutiny from the Department of Justice and the State Controller's Office since August, when anonymous employees sent a letter to former Gov. Jerry Brown alleging misconduct among senior executives at sales conferences.
Johnson lobb ...
Jun 11, 2019, 8:40 am - Lottery News forum
California Lottery director resigns amid investigations
California State Lottery Director Hugo Lopez is stepping down immediately, he announced in an email to lottery staff on Friday.
Lopez has led the department since 2015. It's been under scrutiny from the Department of Justice and the State Controller's Office since August, when anonymous employees sent a letter to former Gov. Jerry Brown's office alleging misconduct among senior executives at sales conferences.
Lopez in his message said he was proud of the department's performance, particul ...
Jun 10, 2019, 8:18 am - Lottery News forum
One lottery ticket sold in California wins $530 million Mega Millions jackpot
Somebody in California just added half a billion dollars to their bank account.
A single ticket, sold in San Diego, claimed Friday night's $530 million Mega Millions jackpot. That comes with a cash option payout of $345.2 million, according to contest officials.
The winning numbers were 17, 19, 27, 40, and 68, with Mega Ball number 2. The Megaplier was 3.
The winning ticket was sold at Sorrento Deli Mart, located a short walk from the famous Torrey Pines Golf Course.
Even if you didn ...
Jun 8, 2019, 8:19 am - Lottery News forum
Audit of California Lottery finds over $305,000 in improper or dubious spending
California Lottery officials tallied more than $305,000 in improper or questionable spending over the last four years that included travel, food, gifts to employees and entertainment expenses, a state audit concluded Tuesday.
Among the improper expenses, the lottery agency spent $21,666 to give staff logo-branded swag such as T-shirts, backpacks, lip balm and iPad cases, labeling the purchases learning aids and training tools, according to the audit by state Controller Betty Yee.
The finan ...
Apr 11, 2019, 9:32 am - Lottery News forum
California Lottery official dismissed amid investigations
A senior California Lottery executive has been dismissed from his position six months after anonymous state employees sent a letter to the Governor's Office complaining about rowdy behavior among a group of the lottery's top brass.
Deputy Director of Sales James David Cole's dismissal comes amid ongoing investigations into hiring practices and alleged misconduct by senior lottery executives during a 2016 sales conference.
Cole was notified Feb. 1 that his employment would be officially ter ...
Mar 26, 2019, 9:23 am - Lottery News forum
California man learns $10 million reason not to tell your roommate if you win the lottery
This past Christmas, a man in Vacaville, Calif., learned a grim, but useful, holiday lesson: Sometimes, don't spread glad tidings. Keep the good news to yourself.
It was Dec. 20, and the city of about 100,000, located midway between Sacramento and San Francisco, was festooned with white lights and toy reindeer. Hoping to get his hands on a bit of extra cash for the holidays, the Vacaville man went to a Lucky grocery store and paid $30 for a scratch-off lottery ticket that odds said would leav ...
Jan 9, 2019, 5:55 pm - Lottery News forum
Mega Millions winner selling $26M mansion due to son's health says the home has been a 'blessing'
A California Mega Millions lottery winner is selling his $26 million southern California compound and is ready to downsize.
I will not be looking to buy such an extravagant home this time around, Rick Knudsen said. I am looking to purchase land and build a home and ranch half the size of what I have now. I will still be looking for a great view and to add more ranch animals maybe a few horses and buffalo.
After winning the $180 million jackpot in August 2014, Rick Knudsen purchased 845 a ...
Nov 20, 2018, 10:22 am - Lottery News forum
California Lottery settles lawsuits with two former security staff
Employees were fired for questioning two jackpot payouts
The California State Lottery has paid more than $500,000 to settle lawsuits filed by two former investigators who claimed they were fired for calling attention to jackpots they believed the lottery improperly awarded to recipients who could not prove they were winners.
The two ousted lottery cops had flagged a $2 million jackpot in 2015 and a $750,000 prize in 2016 that they argued should not have been paid.
It was a travesty the ...
Oct 9, 2018, 9:25 am - Lottery News forum
He won $19 million in the lottery — and became a bank robber
The first time Jim Hayes robbed a bank, at age 55, he gave himself a pep talk.
The former security guard a clean-cut guy with silver hair and a doughy physique stood frozen next to the entrance of Montecito Bank Trust at a strip mall in Carpinteria, a mellow beach town about 12 miles southeast of Santa Barbara. Hayes had stuffed a pillow in his shirt and pulled a Zoo York cap low over his face. It was 5:15 p.m. on April 27, 2017 and he'd spent weeks researching how to pull off the heist. Now, ...
Sep 30, 2018, 11:38 am - Lottery News forum