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Lottery is evil

Paul Alper sends in this news article by Ryan Foley:

The former security chief for a national group that operates state lotteries personally bought two prize-winning tickets in Kansas worth $44,000, investigators said Monday, bringing to five the number of states where he may have fixed games to enrich himself and associates.

Investigators recently linked the winning 2010 Kansas tickets to Eddie Tipton, former security director of the Multi-State Lottery Association . . . In his job at the association managing lotteries for 37 states and territories, Tipton managed random number generators that pick winning numbers for some national games . . . Since Tipton’s conviction, Iowa prosecutors have charged Tipton with ongoing criminal conduct and money laundering for allegedly fixing jackpots valued at $8 million in Colorado, Wisconsin and Oklahoma. . . .

Tipton’s attorney, Dean Stowers, laughed out loud when told of the latest allegations against his client. . . . Stowers said that arguing the games were rigged was a risky strategy for state lotteries.

“If that’s their claim, what is their obligation to the players? Obviously they were running games that weren’t legitimate and collected all this money from people and spent it,” he said.

Indeed, lotteries are evil even when they’re not rigged. See Clotfelter and Cook.

6 Comments

  1. Rahul says:

    That must bring a lot of liability exposure to the parent firms.

  2. Aaron says:

    This news item reminds of the Ontario lottery scandal, where retail workers selling lottery tickets were winning lotteries at a rate far in excess of what they otherwise would have won by chance. The scandal was discovered in large part through the work of statistician Jeff Rosenthal of the University of Toronto. You can find the details in his article below:

    http://probability.ca/lotteryscandal/

  3. Bill Jefferys says:

    Gee, the problem is that people involved in conducting the lottery should by law not be allowed to buy tickets on the lottery (even indirectly). Indeed, is it not already against the law for them to do this? And if they can be shown to have done this, conviction should be automatic, I would think.

  4. Chris G says:

    Musical accompaniment – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W4aA0aqNN10 (90’s Boston band Tribe’s “Jakpot”)

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