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Illinois calls for investigation

by ivan

A week ago the Chicago Tribune reported that the Illinois Lottery had not awarded 40% of the biggest prizes. The games started in mid-2011 and several of seventeen big games did not award at least one big prize, and three did not award any. The games then ended when sales lagged and prizes were not awarded. The rate of awarding big prizes was lower than other state lotteries, and lower than when Illinois ran the games themselves. Since the revelations, player disillusionment has increased, and state lawmakers are calling for an investigation. Because the games ended prematurely the state was short-changed on revenue as well as the players. One of the games that called for two $46 million grand prizes was ended early and the state only received 61% of sales revenue predicted. Other states say they print only as many tickets as they can expect to sell, whereas Northstar had increased ticket printings, some largely. The vendors claimed they ended the games early in the best interests of the state and the players. That is difficult to believe, since if the big prizes were not awarded and tickets worth less than the prizes were remaining remained unsold the state could have lost money. If the prizes had been awarded earlier sale would have been boosted and the game might have reached target sales, The Illinois Lottery is trying to replace Northstar by early next year. Arguments between vendor and the State have been ongoing, and the relationship appears to be ending. The Lottery is a poor method for improving the life of the poor on Illinois.   Joe Mahr and Matthew Wallberg, “State Lawmakers call for investigation,” jmahr@chicagptribune.com/ or mwallberg@chicagotribune.com/ December 15, 2016.    

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