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Ark. Lottery Commission denies tampering claim

Jun 6, 2012, 8:45 am

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Arkansas Lottery

The Arkansas Lottery Commission is denying allegations that it deliberately sold unsecure tickets that had a design defect that could easily lead to potential tampering.

Assistant Attorney General Mark Ohrenberger submitted the statements Friday in legal papers in response to a lawsuit filed by a Little Rock man who claims he bought two $20 Arkansas Millionaires Club tickets that had been damaged.

State officials also disputed claims that the agency deliberately allowed flawed tickets to remain in play rather than risk losing revenue.

Richard Tomboli sued in April after discovering that both tickets were tampered with to the point where someone could determine whether the card was at least a $50 winner, the Arkansas Democrat Gazette reported in Saturday's editions.

Tomboli's April 23 complaint to lottery officials led to a Little Rock police investigation that resulted in the arrest of a Raceway store's former manager, who was charged with theft.

Meanwhile, Tomboli claimed that the commission's security chief told him the tickets had a manufacturing defect but the commission didn't want to stop selling them, because the agency would lose money while they were reprinted by ticket manufacturer Scientific Games. He also said he was given lottery marketing merchandise, including tote bags, T-shirts, sunglasses and hats, as a "gesture of thanks" for reporting the marred tickets.

In Ohrenberger's response, the commission said security chief Lance Huey did speak with Tomboli, but officials say accounts of the conversations are inaccurate.

The lawsuit accuses the commission of committing fraud and violating its duty to manage the lottery.

Huey, Lottery Director Bishop Woosley, commission chairman Dianne Lamberth and Scientific Games also are named as defendants in the case.

Tomboli's lawyer, state Rep. John Walker, is seeking class-action status for the complaint and has asked a judge to stop further Millionaire ticket sales.

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