BOSTON (CBS) – The lottery’s “Cash WinFall” game is now being investigated after a betting group reportedly figured out a way to buy nearly all of the tickets for one very big jackpot.

The Boston Globe reported that a club led by an MIT graduate bought more than 80 percent of the tickets for one drawing and won more than $2 million.

Lottery proceeds are the lifeblood of city and town budgets across the state, and they’re already threatened by mounting competition for gambling dollars. And as the man in charge of our state lottery acknowledged on Thursday, the last thing they need is a loss of public confidence.

Watch Keller @ Large:

State Treasurer Steve Grossman said he hopes the probe and ensuing reforms will dispel any public doubts about the lottery he oversees.

“Every person who’s a customer of the lottery needs to know that every game is fair and equitable and there’s a level playing field,” said Grossman.

Without confidence in the state lottery, lottery players might start preferring the odds online or at the casinos and slots in nearby states and coming soon to Massachusetts, a threat to lottery proceeds acknowledged by casino proponents, including the state treasurer.

“I know the lottery will take some kind of a hit,” said Grossman.

“Bottom line, I think we’ll be better off, more revenue, more local aid, more resources and more jobs,” Grossman continued. “It’s always risky to do anything in the public square.”

What’s at risk if public mistrust and competition undercut local aid drawn from lottery revenues? As one recent commercial put it, over $4.6 billion is at risk, for everything from improving roads and schools to hiring police officers and firefighters.

“I think the taxpayers can count on the governor, and on me, and on the attorney general,” said Grossman.

Setting aside Grossman, who only took office this year, clearly no one was alert enough to spot and blow the whistle on the legal rigging of the Cash WinFall game.

Comments (4)
  1. gramps says:

    Add a ‘Sports Book’ to the Casinos & you’ve got something….

    You’ll draw action, $$, from ‘all’ the states east of the Mississippi, ‘not’ just the northeast & give organized crime a ‘hit’…cities & towns will score heavily!

    Otherwise it’ll just be another, ‘Adult Daycare’.


  2. Mark says:

    By the time these are built no one will be able to afford to go. It should have happened 20 years ago. Beacon Hill fools.

  3. tsal says:

    Mark I’d disagree – it should not happen at all.

    1. Oh Well says:

      Touché Mademoiselle TSAL – forget for now the social issues access to casinos will create for the citizens of MA. At the heart of the matter is gaming revenue is interpreted as a voluntary an painless tax, so the benighted Salons on Beacon Street can get away with a tax increase and no one is supposed to recognize it as such. Gaming revenues are an inefficient revenue source and is very expensive to administer. Coming from someone who live and worked in Las Vegas it should not be viewed as a fiscal panacea and it will be foolish to expect such revenue to provide much in the way of budgetary relief. I guess we will find out. Regards.

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