Local News

New Lottery Director Hopes To Get Numbers Games Going Quickly

Posted December 8, 2005 5:44 a.m. EST

— The state lottery commission is about what will be a busy few weeks. The new lottery director is on the job now, and he wants to get the games up and running.

Lottery director Tom Shaheen's first week on the job includes a teleconference meeting Thursday with the state's lottery commission. He has already set a timetable -- start selling scratch-off tickets by April 5 and institute multi-state lottery games like Powerball by July.

"We've got a lot to do really quickly," said lottery director Tom Shaheen.

Supporters say the odds of success are good, considering his years of experience with the New Mexico Lottery.

Lottery ads during Shaheen's tenure in New Mexico tout scholarships and education. North Carolina lottery ads are expected to hit the airwaves early next year.

Already more than 3,500 retail outlets statewide have expressed interest in selling lottery tickets. If Shaheen does get the games going by early April, he will be getting a $50,000 bonus. Shaheen expects a $400 million profit for the state in the first fiscal year.

Next week, Shaheen will start hiring a full-time staff of 200 to 300 employees. In three weeks, he expects to send out requests for proposals from lottery companies.