Even the Auditor General in Pennsylvania is finding the frequent lottery wins too good to be true.
The Office of the Auditor General has launched a probe into what he described as “unusually frequent lottery winners” in Pennsylvania between 2000 and 2016.
PennLive blew the whistle on the issue after their six-month investigation found that more than 200 Pennsylvanians had claimed 50 or more lottery prizes worth $600, which many statisticians find improbable.
The wins of many current or former Pennsylvania Lottery retailers had also caused eyebrows to raise in the state.
Susan Woods, spokeswoman for the Pa. Auditor General’s Office, confirmed that they had already launched a probe on the issue, beginning with Pennsylvania’s most frequent lottery winners.
She was referring to the case of a Mechnicsburg veterinarian, who won a total of $348,000 in between 2004 and 2016.
“We will also be reaching out to the Attorney General’s Office to discuss what might be the next best steps to ensure the integrity of Pennsylvania’s lottery,” Woods said.
According to the PennLive investigation, it is virtually impossible for the veterinarian to claim 209 lottery tickets worth $600 since there is only a 1-in-10 million chance of that. The report concludes that the wins couldn’t be considered luck.
Pennsylvania doesn’t systematically monitor frequent lottery winnings hence it isn’t surprising that the game is targeted by fraudulent schemes. Things, however, may change especially now that many lawmakers have expressed concern on the lottery exposé.
State Sen. John Blake, the minority chair of the Senate’s finance committee that oversees lottery policy, has quickly thrown his support behind the independent review of lottery winners.
Sen. Blake said he plans to meet lottery officials to discuss how the state may be able to catch possible fraudulent winnings.
“We would certainly consider any such recommendations before the Senate Finance Committee,” Blake said.