Hot Lotto Says Employee Fraud Didn’t Necessarily Affect Next Winner’s Prize

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Last year, the man who used to be in charge of security for the Multi-State Lottery Assocation was convicted of rigging one of his employer’s games and buying himself the winning ticket. The winner of the next jackpot sued the Association, arguing that his own prize would have been bigger if the fraudulent win hadn’t happened. Is that true? The lottery group argues that it’s not.

Like other lottery games, when someone wins the Hot Lotto, the jackpot resets to $1 million. The real winner argues that if the fraudulent winner hadn’t won, the prize money would have rolled over into his prize money. The lottery group argues that this is a false premise: if the prize hadn’t reset after the fraudulent win, he probably wouldn’t have won at all.

There would have been different numbers drawn that day if the game hadn’t been rigged, their attorneys pointed out in a legal brief, and someone else could have won on December 29.

“Moreover, had the jackpot continued to progressively increase following the December 29, 2010 drawing,” they write, “the player pool for all drawings would have increased as well, resulting in more number combinations being purchased for each drawing, until a jackpot winner was chosen.”

People love to buy tickets when the jackpot climbs: a larger prize would have meant more tickets sold. Even if the plaintiff hypothetically won in this situation, he could have won a smaller jackpot or had to share it with someone else who played the same numbers.

If the 2011 winner prevails in this case, it could become very expensive for the Multi-State Lottery Association: there are four other jackpots dating back to 2005 that the former security director is suspected of rigging, and subsequent winners might decide to sue, too.

Lottery group seeks to dismiss lawsuit over rigged jackpot [AP]

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