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The Great $100 Lottery Scam
Texas Lottery pursues bearers of 'previously paid' but forgotten scratch-off tickets
News Story  June 8, 2012, by Jordan Smith
"...Carrie says the officer told her, "That's all I know, ma'am," when she implored him to tell her what the warrant was for. He paused, then added a bit of detail: "Could it maybe have anything to do with the Lottery?" he asked...."

Lottery Ticket
Bow Wow stars in this comedy about a guy with a winning lottery ticket who must protect it over a long weekend.
Film Review  August 27, 2010, by Marjorie Baumgarten
"...Jackson, Naturi Naughton, Loretta Devine, Ice Cube, Gbenga Akinnagbe, Keith David, Terry Crews and Leslie Jones, Mike Epps. No gamble is made by the makers of Lottery Ticket, but that doesn’t mean the film isn’t a serviceable little laugher..."

Scratch That: Lege Ends Lottery, Then Changes Mind
House avoids $2 billion school funding hole by saving scratch cards
DAILY News  April 23, 2013, by Richard Whittaker
"...It was supposed to be a prosaic procedural measure: the reauthorization of the Texas Lottery Commission. Yet, somehow, this morning the Texas House of Representatives voted against its continued existence, taking the agency, the lottery, and $2 billion in school finance with it..."

IDEA's Admission Lottery Today
If only Vegas gave these odds
DAILY News  May 17, 2012, by Richard Whittaker
"...IDEA Public Schools is touting that it has exceeded its enrollment target for IDEA Allan and had to go to a lottery to allocate seats. So how impressive are their numbers?..."

Lottery Logic
Postmarks  January 11, 2010
"...Dear Editor, Let's give it up, again, for government education (“The Lottery Is Bad for Society,” “Postmarks,” Jan. 8)..."

Deferred Prosecution Deal Made in Lottery Fraud Case
Lottery Commission alleged the couple had tried to defraud the state
News Story  July 13, 2012, by Jordan Smith
"...The couple vehemently denies the charges but agreed to the deal; Carrie was loath to agree to any plea and had said she'd prefer to take it to trial, but this deal – which seems, on balance, a way for the state and Travis County Attorney's Office to save face – means she won't have to say she was guilty of something she denies doing. For more on the story, see "The Great $100 Lottery Scam," June 8...."

The Lottery Is Bad for Society
Postmarks  December 21, 2009
"...Dear Editor, The recent Texas lottery prize was approximately $160 million. What a wretched game! Nobody needs $160 million..."

Perry: Sell the Lottery
Perry Wants to Sell State Lottery
DAILY News  February 6, 2007, by Amy Smith
"...When in doubt, sell the Texas Lottery. That's Gov..."

Sound Select Ticket Lottery Closes Today
Sour Notes and Gentlemen Rogues ascend Stubb’s big stage
DAILY Music  July 12, 2013, by Chase Hoffberger
"...There’s a catch: Your ticket comes personally handpicked by a member of the Gentlemen Rogues or Sour Notes, so just clicking on the request button doesn’t automatically grant you access. The lottery closes today...."

Waking Ned Devine
Despite its blarney, Waking Ned Devine has some wonderful turns, and is directed with a sure hand that makes the most of the Isle of Man's gorgeous geography.
Film Review  January 8, 1999, by Marc Savlov
"...It's a County Cork crock, to be sure, but Jones and his cast serve it up in high style, milking it for all it's worth. Bannen and Kelly play Jackie O'Shea and Michael Sullivan, a pair of aging Irish scalawags who wend their way through their twilight years sunning themselves on the rocky beaches of their Tully More home and playing -- as does everyone else -- the Irish National Lottery..."

Lotto Land
(This review is re-published from the March 17, 1995 Chronicle issue when Lotto Land debuted duing the SXSW Film Festival.) A missing $27 million lottery ticket is the linchpin for...
Film Review  October 6, 1995, by Patrick Taggart
"...Starring: Larry Gilliard, Wendell Holmes, Barbara Gonzales, Suzanne Castallos, Jaime Tirelli, Luis Guzman and Paul Calderon. (This review is re-published from the March 17, 1995 Chronicle issue when Lotto Land debuted duing the SXSW Film Festival.) A missing $27 million lottery ticket is the linchpin for this warm, informed, and knowing look at two couples living in a working-class Brooklyn neighborhood..."

Welcome to Me
Kristen Wiig stars in this odd comedy about a mentally unbalanced woman
Film Review  May 8, 2015, by Marjorie Baumgarten
"...The film has a stellar premise: Alice, a woman diagnosed with borderline personality disorder and currently off her meds, wins $86 million in the state lottery and sinks her windfall into the production of a TV show called Welcome to Me. An Oprah fanatic who hasn’t turned off her TV in 11 years, Alice lines her apartment walls with videocassettes of Oprah’s show, whose episodes she can recite by heart..."

Ex Machina
Smart, sinister sci-fi film about human error and techno-terror
Film Review  April 17, 2015, by Kimberley Jones
"...At an Internet megacorporation, a low-level programmer named Caleb (Gleeson) wins a companywide lottery to spend a week with reclusive CEO Nathan (Isaac). It’s the proverbial golden ticket, only Wonka lives in an ultramodern, maximum-security, scarily isolated Alaskan compound, like a Dwell magazine center spread stealing looks from Alcatraz and the Overlook Hotel..."

30 Minutes or Less
Jesse Eisenberg reunites with his Zombieland director Ruben Fleischer for this action comedy about a hapless victim forced to rob a bank or be blown up.
Film Review  August 12, 2011, by Marjorie Baumgarten
"...His relationship with his roommate and best friend, Chet (Ansari) has hit a sudden snag with Nick’s confession that he once slept with Chet’s twin sister, Kate (Vadsaria). Concurrently, an even more shiftless pair of buddies, Dwayne (McBride) and Travis (Swardson) plot to kill Dwayne’s ex-military dad (Ward) in order to collect his massive lottery winnings and invest them in a brothel that also fronts as a tanning salon..."

Waiting for 'Superman'
More provocative than genuinely informative, this documentary, nevertheless, has kicked off a national discussion about remedying our failing educational system.
Film Review  October 15, 2010, by Marjorie Baumgarten
"...(Structuring documentaries around big competitions has become a commonplace strategy in the wake of such films as Spellbound and The King of Kong: A Pocket Full of Quarters. For another documentary that uses this structure to explore the charter school system, look for The Lottery, which is widely available for viewing via numerous video-on-demand options.) Ultimately, it may be the case that Guggenheim is a better instigator than filmmaker, as the debate about our educational system appears to be on the upswing at present..."

'The Sporting Life': It’s Game Time, Baby …
DAILY Sports  October 31, 2006, by John Razook
"...“I just won 1,500 bucks.”    “What did you do,” I asked. “Buy a scratch-off lottery ticket?”    “No,” he replied..."

As his name suggests, Sunny Holiday (Gries) -- Jackpot's central character -- is the embodiment of wishful thinking. Sunny travels the karaoke circuit of the western United States in a...
Film Review  September 21, 2001, by Marjorie Baumgarten
"...Sunny travels the karaoke circuit of the western United States in a pink Cadillac accompanied by his manager Lester Irving (Morris), as his life is measured out in canned songs while waiting for his big break and ticket to stardom. Certain that their pot of gold awaits them at some ratty club down the line, Sunny and Les are a sad portrait of American dreamers held captive by their own self-delusions of professional competence and lottery-like windfalls..."

Two Thousand Seen by - (Part One)
Omnibus films, in which various directors contribute short pieces on related subject matter, are often a precarious thing, seeming better in theory than in actualization. 2000 Seen By … is...
Film Review  August 6, 1999, by Marjorie Baumgarten
"...Harvey). While they check into a Manhattan hotel and prepare for the Apocalypse, Satan (Thomas Jay Ryan) heads off to a bar to lure new followers with the promise of winning lottery tickets..."

Two Thousand Seen by - (Part Two)
Omnibus films, in which various directors contribute short pieces on related subject matter, are often a precarious thing, seeming better in theory than in actualization. 2000 Seen By … is...
Film Review  August 6, 1999, by Marjorie Baumgarten
"...Harvey). While they check into a Manhattan hotel and prepare for the Apocalypse, Satan (Thomas Jay Ryan) heads off to a bar to lure new followers with the promise of winning lottery tickets..."

Saint Clara
Dateline: 1999, Haifa, Israel. At Golda Meir Junior High School, recent Russian émigré Clara Chabov (Dubinchik) has been accused by the school's perpetually crimson-suited Headmaster Tissona (Naor) of organizing an...
Film Review  July 25, 1997, by Marc Savlov
"...Although her mother assures her that she'll lose her powers once she falls in love, Clara isn't quite as certain. Yet she idly fends off the advances of class hooligan Eddie Tikel (Elohev) and bides her time, content to play havoc with the town's lottery now and again and studiously avoid the neo-political skirmishes of her post-pubescent contemporaries..."

It Could Happen to You
Generous to a fault. That's what the makers of this endearing comedy want us to believe its two lead characters are: a courageous, helpful, Big Apple cop who splits his...
Film Review  August 5, 1994, by Robert Faires
"...Generous to a fault. That's what the makers of this endearing comedy want us to believe its two lead characters are: a courageous, helpful, Big Apple cop who splits his $4 million lottery win with a waitress he shorted on a tip, and the waitress, who buys a restaurant with the “tip” but keeps a table in it to serve free meals to folks without cash..."

Dave Grohl’s Sound City Players to Perform at SXSW
Lottery system for mega SXSW showcases confirms all-star act
DAILY Music  March 4, 2013, by Kevin Curtin
"...South by Southwest revealed details this afternoon for the lottery system to get into mega showcases for the Sound City Players, Green Day, and Nick Cave. Last March’s headlining SXSW set by Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band functioned similarly, with no real problems reported in the aftermath...."

Capitol Chronicle
The governor sells social service cuts as "enhancements."
News Column  October 31, 2003, by Michael King
"...Peter Robbed, Paul on Dole Welcome to the New Texas Lottery, where you pays your money and you takes your chances. A similar sleight of hand was accomplished with Medicaid provider rates, already too low to sustain adequate care in the border areas most in need of it..."

Gambling? What Gambling?
Allergic to taxes, the Lege tries to balance the budget with the rolls of the dice.
News Story  May 2, 2003, by Mike Clark-Madison
"...And analysts say the New Texas will be about $1 billion richer -- or, more properly, $1 billion less broke -- if the state adopts the front-running gaming schemes. State Comptroller Carole Keeton Strayhorn has slapped her brand name on two of these plans -- joining a multistate lottery and creating "video lottery" parlors at racetracks -- and folded them into her lists of thrifty hints for Texas House-keepers..."

Handicapping Slots for Tots
The pols and the lobby shuffle the deck on gambling for education'
News Column  February 18, 2005, by Amy Smith
"...Turner's proposal would allow the installation of so-called Video Lottery Terminals, or VLTs, at horse and greyhound racetracks and Indian reservations, and would allow for one VLT center in each of nine regions across the state, including Central Texas. The VLTs would be expected to generate an estimated $1.2 billion for state education funding (an estimate subject to much dispute), and would thereby free additional state money for the social service needs of children and seniors, Turner said..."

Lotto Madness?
Former Texas Lottery Commission employee sues commission, alleging he lost his job because he alerted the Texas Legislature to security and ethics breaches, as well as to a cover-up in which employees 'are bullied into silence'
News Story  September 15, 2006, by Patricia J. Ruland
"...People play the lottery, sure, but does the lottery play people? Former Texas Lottery Commission employee Shelton Charles thinks so...."

Adiós! Don't Let the Door ...
A Quick Roundup of the Best and the Worst of the 78th Lege
News Story  June 6, 2003
"...Gambling Bills Crap Out Key members of the GOP brain trust think the poor don't pay enough in taxes. But the state's most efficient system for taxing the poor -- the Texas Lottery -- almost died along with its sunset bill, SB 270, after a House-Senate spat between the authors, Sen..."

Perry's Big $$$ Ideas
The governor reaches for a legacy – is anybody listening?
News Story  March 1, 2007, by Amy Smith
"...Privatizing the Lottery: Perry is pitching a plan to sell the Texas Lottery to a private company, which he believes would fetch $14 billion or more. Here's the catch: We need to act right now..."

Lege Lowdown
News Column  February 9, 2007
"...Rick Perry enlisted Texas in the race to cure cancer. This month he wants us to join the race to sell the Texas Lottery, lest the market price drop and we miss out on a grand investment opportunity..."

Beware of Bingo Narcs!
On July 18, an investigator from the Texas Lottery Commission's Charitable Bingo section informed Continental Cub owner Steve Wertheimer that the club's bingo night was illegal --way illegal. Why?
News Story  August 2, 2002, by Jordan Smith
"...That's pretty much how El Orbits' bingo night at the Continental has transpired since its founding two years ago. On July 18, however, an investigator from the Texas Lottery Commission's Charitable Bingo section informed Continental owner Steve Wertheimer that the bingo was illegal -- way illegal..."

In the Name of Ann Richards
AISD's School for Young Women Leaders is a district showcase – does its glittering reputation hide a darker side for teachers and students?
News Story  August 30, 2013, by Richard Whittaker
"...Then each prospective student has to submit a portfolio of work, scorecards, attendance reports, and letters of recommendation. If and only if her application is deemed acceptable by the administration, her name is entered into a lottery..."

Lege Lines
Texas Lottery, Rainy Day Fund, water, education, payday lenders, and more
News Column  April 26, 2013, by Richard Whittaker
"...On May 23, Rep. Scott Sanford, R-McKinney, decided that he was going to lead a rebellion to end the lottery in Texas..."

The Millionaire Who Would Be Constable
Former APD cop wins lottery, settles brutality lawsuit, and embarks on dream of becoming a ... constable?
News Story  September 28, 2007, by Patricia J. Ruland
"...If you won a megalottery, what would you do? Travel around the world? Buy a big honkin' ranch? Put all your kids through college – and all your relatives' kids and your neighbors'? Maybe pull a Tony Sanchez and run for governor?..."

Lotto Madness Continues in Court
Judge recommends denying motion for summary judgment in Texas Lottery Commission whistle-blower suit
News Story  December 8, 2006, by Patricia J. Ruland
"...The lawsuit over secrets, lies, and audiotapes concerning a "phantom" disaster recovery facility at the Texas Lottery Commission remains alive. On Nov..."

Naked City
Headlines and Happenings from Austin and Beyond
News Story  July 14, 2006
"...• While Texas Lottery officials accurately "calculate and pay" Lotto Texas jackpot prizes, and the agency accurately "calculates and transfers" lottery proceeds to the Foundation School Fund, it has not always "accurately advertised Lotto Texas jackpot amounts," according to a report released July 11 by the Texas state auditor's office. "[F]ailure to accurately advertise Lotto Texas jackpot amounts may contribute to a lack of public confidence" in Lotto Texas and the Lottery Commission, says the report..."

Place Your Bets
The gambling action heats up at the Capitol
News Column  March 4, 2005, by Amy Smith
"...In any case, two competing proposals, both authored by Houston Democrats, are on the table at the Lege: one by Rep. Sylvester Turner that would allow video lottery terminals – slot machines – at racetracks, and another, filed last week by Sen..."

Remember the Angle
Familiar Props and Tired Stories at the Alamo
News Column  November 8, 1996, by Chris Walters
"...Early in October a federal jury in New Jersey convicted J. David Smith, the former national sales manager of Gtech, which operates the Texas Lottery along with lotteries in 27 other states and a host of foreign countries, of orchestrating kickbacks to state-level political consultants..."

Letters to the Editor: Classic Cuts
35 years of "keeping it weird"
Features Story  September 1, 2016, by Danielle White
"...Re: your letter in which you bemoaned the loss of fair odds in Texas Lottery Scratch Off Tickets ["Postmarks," July 18]. May I suggest that state run lotteries are designed (like casinos) to make rather than lose money? Therefore, the majority of people who play must lose..."

Top 10 Lege Stories
Wendy Davis' filibuster, redistricting, and the lottery fiasco
News Story  January 3, 2014, by Richard Whittaker
"...9) SCRATCH THAT The geniuses of the Tea Party delegation briefly disbanded the Texas Lottery Commission – right until someone pointed out that the lottery provides $2 billion in school finance...."

Graham Franciose: Fables 2
The Austin Art Garage stocks your wildest dreams
DAILY Chronolog  August 16, 2012, by Wayne Alan Brenner
"...I'm going to tell you later, anyway, but right now let's just consider Franciose's work on its own, because his newest show, "Fables 2," is currently featured at that Garage and it'd be worth seeing anywhere. Like, if you won the lottery and suddenly had tons of money, it'd be worth jetting to Sri Lanka to see the show if that's where it happened to be..."

Uncontrolled Experiments
AISD says charters and single-sex academies will lift all students' boats – and attacks any research that says otherwise
News Story  December 9, 2011, by Richard Whittaker
"...Ann Richards Principal Jeanne Goka is very sensitive to any criticism of her admissions process. The school's website boasts, "You don't have to be a straight-A honor student to apply, but you do have to be a student who enjoys learning, has the desire to succeed, wants to go to college, and cares about the future of our world." Admission is via lottery, with 75% of desks reserved for kids from Title I (at-risk, low-income) campuses..."

Naked City
News Story  January 4, 2008
"...• Speaking of moola, millions of dollars in lottery prizes are left behind each year, according to the Texas Lottery Commission. The commission estimates nearly half a billion dollars in prizes have gone unclaimed since it began keeping track in 1995..."

AG's Office Warned Against Filing 'Punitive' Appeals
Warning stems from pending whistle-blower lawsuit against Gary Grief and the Texas Lottery Commission, for which the AG's office is serving as the defendants' co-counsel
News Story  November 23, 2007, by Patricia J. Ruland
"...6 by the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals. The opinion involves a pending whistle-blower lawsuit against Gary Grief and the Texas Lottery Commission, for which the AG's office is serving as the defendants' co-counsel...."

Taxi Lotto No Go?
Urban Transportation Commission searching for new system for approving taxi franchises
News Story  July 21, 2006, by Wells Dunbar
"...What Ms. Nwoko was telling the assembled stakeholders, in her own colorful way, was that the current system of approving new taxi franchises – a lottery – is bogus..."

Call Him Unimpeachable?
The governor's gamble on casinos may yet come up snake-eyes
News Column  July 9, 2004, by Michael King
"...As was first revealed by Republican Sen. Jane Nelson of Lewisville in the blowup over "slots for tots," last December the Lottery Commission paid $250,000 to a Las Vegas law firm to draft special interest legislation that would have legalized slot machines at a half-dozen venues across the state..."

Nader: Think Global, Act Texan
Ralph Nader dips into Texas politics while pursuing ballot access
News Story  April 30, 2004, by Lee Nichols
"..."Gambling is like a cancer. It is now moving some states like Oregon to put video lottery terminals in convenience stores." The reason for the expansion, Nader said, is that the gambling lobby is aggressively pushing for it...."

Our readers talk back.
Columns  May 16, 2003
"...Where Does Lottery $ Go?..."

Naked City
Beyond City Limits
News Story  October 4, 2002
"...Three out of three: Not a new Texas Lottery game, but the number of lottery directors forced out amid controversy. Linda Cloud resigned last week after admitting she had, in fact, talked to Gov..."

Deep Impact
The first of this summer's dueling comet films, Leder's Deep Impact takes the high road and offers up more tearful reunions than actual fireballs and more egregious, sappy dialogue than...
Film Review  May 8, 1998, by Marc Savlov
"...Leder (and co-screenwriters Michael Tolkin and Bruce Joel Rubin) move things along at a stately pace -- we're 30 minutes into the film before the world is alerted to the impending crisis, but even then, there are still 10 months left before impact. Deep Impact uses the time to set up a “what if?” scenario that includes everything from the building of massive, underground bunkers that will preserve 200,000 of the best and brightest Americans (alongside an 800,000-strong lottery drawing) to the media's reaction to the largest story of all time, and from young love blooming in the face of overwhelming catastrophe to estranged families returning to the nest as the Eastern seaboard is engulfed in a 2,000-mile-per-hour tidal wave that makes James Cameron's Abyss wave look positively tedious..."

SXSW Diary
Columns  March 20, 1998
"...Maybe some of those who back this move think that they will be getting rid of those terrible gambling machines. Not true! Wake up folks, one small business goes down the drain, a large corrupt conglomerate will take over - Big Business for the State, as the Lottery is now run..."

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