Wednesday, April 04, 2007

San Antonio College Math Professor Reforms Texas State Lottery

His name is Gerald Busald and over the years he has found inaccuracies in the odds that the lottery states as well as other misleading aspects. Becaue of him (and his students), the lottery has had to institute reforms. Great to see a professor from my college getting such richly deserved recognition. You can read all about it here for the full article. Below are some key excerpts.

"Until recently, the Texas Lottery did not disclose cash values — the amount won if players chose to collect a top prize in one lump sum payment. The lottery only disclosed the amount that would be collected in 25 annual installments. Players have always known that a winning cash-value ticket contained a lesser prize than the jackpot listed. But now, thanks to the intervention of local lottery critic Gerald Busald, millions can actually know what they're playing for.

In June, Busald recommended eight changes in the lottery. In December, the Texas Lottery Commission implemented one of them — disclosing cash-value amounts on its Web site. By Aug. 31, cash-value amounts will appear on tickets. More remarkably, TLC has agreed to implement all of Busald's recommendations.

On the back of a ticket are the overall odds of winning Lotto Texas: 1 in 71. What a ticket doesn't reveal are the odds of winning the top prize: One in 25.8 million.
Thanks to Busald, jackpot odds will soon be posted on tickets, and the print will be larger.

Thanks to Busald, lottery billboards across the state have been changed to include "annuitized" beside the word jackpot. Most players, Busald says, know the advertised jackpot will be paid in annual installments. But inclusion of "annuitized," he insisted, is proper disclosure.

Persuading TLC to make minor changes is one thing. But Busald's fingerprints appear on a major one. In a January TLC meeting, Busald chided the lottery for continuing to sell scratch-off tickets after all top prizes had been claimed. Commissioners refused to halt the practice. Last week, TLC capitulated. Gerald Busald wields clout because he helped TLC in its search for a new executive director."

No comments: