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Texas Lottery changes won't come quickly

Jul 11, 2005, 5:12 pm

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Texas Lottery

Lottery players who feel hoodwinked by the Texas Lottery Commission will have to wait another month before the agency changes rules that determine how much money Lotto Texas winners are paid.

The commission today delayed adopting an amendment in the game's rules until next month and announced the formation of a search committee to consist of state government officials and members of the public who will aid the commission in finding a new executive director.

The decisions came three days after the state's top lottery executive resigned amid a scandal over inflated Lotto jackpots.

Reagan Greer resigned Friday as executive director of the commission after admitting he approved inflated jackpots of Lotto Texas to entice more people to play a game that was experiencing a drop in sales.

An internal review uncovered four instances since October in which the commission had advertised Lotto jackpots of $8 million that were more than what the agency could have paid winners. There were no winners in those four instances.

"I would really like to see a way that we could pay the advertised amount no matter what," said commissioner James A. Cox, Jr. "The only question is where we get the money."

One proposed change would guarantee winners the advertised jackpot for every drawing. Currently, advertised jackpots are guaranteed only for the first four drawings.

Commissioners expressed concern over the potential for "disasters or calamities," such as hurricanes, which could disable them from paying advertised jackpots in full.

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