by Michael Lowrey
It’s that time of the year again where newspaper put out Very Big Story of the Moment in an attempt to win press awards. Typically, these involves a multi-part series highlighting some area of government policy that is inadequate. This year, the Charlotte Observer focuses on the North Carolina Education Lottery. So what’s wrong with the state lottery? Two things, in the Observer’s estimation.
• Too much potential for employees in stores that sell tickets to defraud winning customers. Or steal tickets.
• Sometimes people with a winning ticket sell it to someone else at a discount to redeem. Why would someone do that? Because they have large amounts debt — think tax liens or major child support arrears — and they wouldn’t get any of the money if they came forward as the winner.
You can read the Observer’s coverage here and the paper’s recommendations are located here. Will it impact state public policy? Maybe. Making reselling tickets illegal, for example, won’t by itself eliminate the practice.