NEWS

Commentary: Lottery panel has bigger fish to fry?

December 1, 2009 | In The News, Randy Howry

By Peggy Fikac, Houston Chronicle

AUSTIN — Some people saw a little irony in the Texas Lottery Commission’s recent step toward potentially adding Powerball to the state’s gambling lineup.

Watching from the audience was a man who, according to prosecutors, was cheated of his million-dollar jackpot by a store clerk when he played Texas’ current multi-state game, Mega Millions.

Months after the ticket was cashed in, the clerk has been indicted and is considered a fugitive. Willis Willis, described by prosecutors as the rightful owner of jackpot proceeds he never was able to claim, has said he’s broke. And the Lottery Commission’s general counsel (according to Willis’ lawyers) has told him the clerk accused of fraudulently claiming the prize is considered the winner for agency purposes because he had the ticket. (more…)

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Man again asks Lottery to end his “nightmare”

November 24, 2009 | In The News, Randy Howry

By Peggy Fikac, Houston Chronicle

AUSTIN — Saying he’s living “a dream and a nightmare at the same time,” Willis Willis tried again Tuesday to persuade the Texas Lottery Commission to pay him a million-dollar jackpot obtained by an indicted store clerk.

“I’m broke. (I) have no money, no income whatsoever, because I haven’t been working,” Willis, 67, his voice quavering, told reporters before he walked into commission headquarters. “This money would mean a lot to me and my daughters as far as the holidays, and I hope I get it.” (more…)

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