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‘‘We had a couple of excited people at 1 o’clock in the morning being a little nervous about handling this,’’ he said, adding that the buck stops with him." -- Michael Sweeney, MA State Lottery Director

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What is this, a card game at the local Legion Post? Funny to see the lemmings in the media camped outside the Watertown store, based on a press release, later scrambling out to Chicopee when the release was suddenly changed. No worries, the location of the $750+ million winning ticket was only 100 miles and an hour and a half off, due to "excited, nervous people at the Lottery." That instills a lot of confidence in the management of the lottery games. Where is the state auditor?

It also shows that our media are operating by press release. Government leading them around like puppets on a string. Maybe they will change it to Great Barrington or Truro before the ticket is cashed.

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Reporter here. In this case, how else am I getting the information?

I could call, but the same person who made the mistake is going to give me the same information.

Or I could call every lottery outlet in the state. And NH.

C'mon.

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to announce the location that the winning ticket was sold at as soon as possible. That should be the question we're asking, not "How could the flunky working in the Lottery's computer room at 2 in the morning screw this up?"

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I agree but the fact is that they did announce it and 30 satellite trucks showed up in Watertown, interviewing hopefuls who had bought a ticket there, only to be disappointed that the winning ticket was sold 100 miles away. In the 2017 computer age "excited and panic" shouldn't be a factor for stewards of a jackpot building up for months. Amateur hour.

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bait the press and make book on which news service arrives first at each location.

just a thought ;-)

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So that everyone who bought tickets there can know they might've just won a boat load of money.

But the lottery is probably still a scam.

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and compare the numbers against those that were just read. You shouldn't have to need to know the name or location of the store the winning ticket was sold at to be able to do that.

And I wouldn't go so far as to call the Lottery a total scam. However, when you can walk into nearly any store in this state and be presented with anywhere from 60 to 100 separate scratch tickets to choose from, it is clear that Lottery management is slowly strangling the goose that lays the golden egg.

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Lottery management is slowly strangling the goose that lays the golden egg.

Lottery addicts don't think like we do. I don't think it is clear at all that they are doing anything other than upping the excitement and thus the neurotransmitters, also known as "maximizing profit".

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as "lottery addicts." And believe me, they know when existing scratch games "go stale" and promptly avoid buying them in favor of newer ones. I also see people I call the Lottery "regulars" in some stores I frequent, and they usually request the newest games instead of buying the older "stagnant" ones. Now, I don't begrudge any of these people for playing the Lottery - if they want to continue paying a voluntary tax to the state, that's none of my business.

So, having 60 to 100 separate and individual scratch ticket games for sale at the same time, and at nearly EVERY convenience store, supermarket, gas station, etc. etc. (even vending machines now), only serves to confuse the casual player and, given the shrinking odds of actually winning a meaningful prize (as opposed to getting only the price you paid for the ticket back), ultimately reduces the likelihood that these people will a) become long term players or b) will continue to be even casual players** . As the saying goes, provide too many choices, and the average person just gets confused. Which, as many companies are discovering, is actually bad for your business.

Now, I don't claim to be an expert on operating a state Lottery system. But common sense tells me that you don't need to retain a huge number of obviously stale games (and I'd estimate that at least 35 to 50 percent of the scratch ticket games hanging on the wall at your average 7-11 are stale, some approaching almost 1 year old) to "generate excitement in the Lottery" or to "maximize" your profits. Plus, fewer games means fewer expenses, when you consider the printing alone, plus the advertising and other publicity costs every time they release a new game, not to mention the costs of distributing all those tickets to the gazillion or so Lottery agents in this state (btw, have you ever heard of a store owner being DENIED a request to sell Lottery tickets) plus the costs of recalling unsold tickets once games are actually recalled (which is supposed to eventually happen per Lottery rules^^), seriously reducing the number of scratch ticket games in play at any given time could actually INCREASE overall profits for the Lottery.

** For the record, I used to be a casual purchaser (once or twice a month) of scratch tickets until about a year ago. Even though I always viewed "scrapers" as entertainment value and nothing more, I finally got tired of winning either nothing or just the price of the tickets."

^^ Source - a co-worker who ran a convenience store - and was a Lottery agent - for just over twelve years

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"And believe me, they know when existing scratch games "go stale" and promptly avoid buying them in favor of newer ones. I also see people I call the Lottery "regulars" in some stores I frequent, and they usually request the newest games instead of buying the older "stagnant" ones. "

Anyone who has taken even the most rudimentary of "probability and statistics" courses of the sort they used to teach when I was in college know that there is no such thing as any of these games "going stale". Any one of them at any time has the same probability of winning (or more likely losing) that it always had. t's just another mind game these unfortunate lottery addicts play with themselves. I'm always amazed at how excited some of these addicts are on the rare occasion they win something substantial, say $50-$100. They completely ignore the fact that they spent hundreds or even thousands over the previous year to win. Sounds like losing to me.

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They change the location the ticket was sold to the mini-mart at Putterham Circle in Brookline. Now THAT would be good news!

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Does that Putterham mini-mart sell lotto? I usually go to Gary's Liquor on VFW but the mini-mart is actually closer.

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Name me a convenience store in the state of Massachusetts that doesn't collect the voluntary tax for the mathematically challenged ISN'T a Lottery agent.

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I, for one, am looking forward to the Commonwealth receiving all that sweet, sweet additional income tax revenue. 5.15% of $750M is a cool $38 mil. None too shabby.

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I would love to see exactly what that money is put towards. Maybe dragging out one of our bridge repairs another couple years so that the contractor can rake in more cash? Or towards fixing the signal system on the T... LOL

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Mass.gov look it up.

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It goes into the General Fund, so it will be spent the same way my roughly three grand will be spent.

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Too bad this person didn't wait until she had all the tax advisors, lawyers, PR firm, etc. in place to help manage the deluge that's about to hit her.

I wonder if Adam can report on what happens to her a few years down the road and whether she still has her winnings.

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deleted comment

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Yeah, sure, not what I would have done. I would have put in place a system for handling all that money before getting the check. Paid lawyers and accountants to structure it. Set up my own foundation for funding environmental public health. Drawn up a will including it.

It was her prize, her ticket, her call. We can't begin to know why she did it this way, but it ain't our business.

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