Lottery Proposes New Rule For Lotto Texas

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Originally Posted: Nov 19, 2004
Revised:

Changes to Lotto Texas Proposed - Please Comment
In a nutshell, the prizes will be to low, the odds higher than we want,
they refuse to guarantee us a return of at least 50% of sales and they
still want to "round down" prizes. They claim they'll do what you say
though - so let's see. Please, help me spread the word. Click here.



- Editors Note -
Yesterday (Friday, Nov 18, 2005) the Commissioners agreed to
propose a new rule for Lotto Texas that does away with the bonus ball.
While I'm posting the story that appears in the Ft.Worth Star Telegram
now, do understand that I have not had time to read or analyze the
rule to make certain that they are giving us FAIR PAYOUTS. In fact,
I don't think they are so stay tuned. The commissioners made it very
clear that they would consider comment so we are going to find out.
I hope to have a comment form posted next week. It is my opinion that
we all want a guarantee that we shall receive our share of sales and
that is the issue that we will be covering.


'Bonus ball' thrown out of the game

By JOHN MORITZ
STAR-TELEGRAM AUSTIN BUREAU

AUSTIN - Texas lottery commissioners moved one step closer Friday to returning the Lotto Texas game to its original format by signing off on a plan to bounce the bonus ball from the format that decides how the multimillion-dollar jackpots are won.

Meanwhile, the two sitting commissioners who oversee lottery operations deferred a decision on who will be hired to run the agency, which generates $1 billion a year for the state. But both offered high praise for former state Rep. Talmadge Heflin, a Houston Republican who submitted an eleventh-hour application for the $115,000-a-year post. The next lottery director could be named next month.

Under the proposal that will be published in the Texas Register and on the lottery's Web site for public review and comment, Lotto Texas will be structured as it was before the bonus ball was introduced just over two years ago.

To win the jackpot, which starts at $4 million and increases each time no one hits it, players must match six numbers from a field of 54 to the ones picked during the twice-weekly drawings. The odds against winning the jackpot would drop from one in 48 million under the bonus ball configuration to one in 26 million.

Regular players, lottery products manager Robert Tirloni said, "absolutely did not ... like the bonus ball."

Commission Chairman C. Thomas Clowe said the change is needed to help stem the 30-percent drop in ticket sales since the bonus ball was introduced.

"If I had known we were going to lose 30 percent of our player base, I never would have voted to make that change," he said. "To just give away 30 percent of our market was a mistake."

Clowe also he was not ruling out restoring Lotto Texas to the six-out-of-50 configuration it had when the game debuted in Texas in 1992. Tirloni and other lottery executives warned that such a move might severely undercut the state's profit margin.

After the lottery commission meeting, Clowe said he encouraged Heflin to apply for the director's post because of the former lawmaker's 22 years of experience in state government, particularly his two-year term as chairman of the budget-writing House Appropriations Committee. Since his defeat in the 2004 election, Heflin has been running his management consulting business full time.

"I think he's very well-qualified," Clowe said. "He's very knowledgeable about lottery operations."

Clowe stopped short of endorsing Heflin, as did Commissioner Jim Cox, who described the applicant as "a very promising candidate." The lottery commission is a three-member panel, although one slot is presently vacant.

The Texas Department of Public Safety will conduct a thorough background check before any vote is taken on Heflin's application. A government watchdog group expressed reservations about Heflin, pointing out that he accepted $30,000 in campaign donations from organizations seeking to legalize slot machines in the state.

Changes to Lotto Texas Proposed - Please Comment
In a nutshell, the prizes will be to low, the odds higher than we want,
they refuse to guarantee us a return of at least 50% of sales and they
still want to "round down" prizes. They claim they'll do what you say
though - so let's see. Please, help me spread the word. Click here.


Just point and click ...

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