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
After bawdy photos, California Lottery workers demand resignations
Five veteran Lottery employees on Thursday demanded that senior department executives resign amid investigations into hiring practices and alleged misconduct on a work-related trip two years ago.
They addressed the state Lottery Commission one month after an anonymous writer sent a letter to officials in Gov. Jerry Brown's administration that included pictures of senior Lottery leaders carrying on at a Southern California bar. It also included anecdotes describing disparaging treatment of emp ...
Sep 21, 2018, 12:21 pm - Lottery News forum
Police break up scratch-off lottery ticket burglary ring
Authorities have arrested three San Jose, California, men and are seeking at least one other suspected of breaking into Bay Area businesses to steal lottery scratch-off tickets.
Belmont police Capt. Patrick Halleran said his agency cracked the crime ring with help from the Burlingame, Menlo Park, Los Gatos-Monte Sereno, and San Jose police departments and the Santa Clara County Sheriff's Office.
The suspects would break into closed businesses in the early morning hours and steal large quan ...
Aug 17, 2018, 1:07 pm - Lottery News forum
California Lottery cancels sales meeting in aftermath of rowdy party photos
The California Lottery is postponing a planned sales conference in the wake of an anonymous employee's recent complaint to Gov. Jerry Brown about senior leaders behaving inappropriately at a Southern California bar two years ago.
The department on Tuesday announced that it's delaying the conference while it retools some of the training it intended to offer to focus on human resources and nondiscrimination policies.
The conference was expected to take place next week in Sacramento.
Aug 15, 2018, 7:10 am - Lottery News forum
California Lottery officials seen in bawdy photos sent to governor
A package of bawdy photos allegedly showing senior state Lottery leaders carrying on at a Southern California piano bar, with one image showing an official putting his head up a woman's shirt, was sent to Gov. Jerry Brown's office last week in an appeal from an anonymous employee urging the administration to investigate the department.
Brown's office late Thursday said he is asking the attorney general's office to look into the letter and the attached photos.
The contents of the letter ar ...
Aug 10, 2018, 7:51 am - Lottery News forum