Issue 17 - April 19th, 2018
Truer words have never been spoken. It's these times at the end of the legislative session, when last minute deals are being struck, amendments are being offered and the government is trying to fix or build or cobble, that the frenetic pace can be a bit much. And then I remember the end of the last session, when the New Hampshire Legislature approved the largest expansion of gaming in our history:
- Fantasy Sports
- Full Internet Lottery
All in the same week ... yep ... the same week, and I wasn't even in the state. For years we have been asking to modernize, to expand, to better serve our customers and the revenue needs of the state and the Education Trust Fund. My mistake was that I forgot to say that we should do those things one at a time. So that was July 1 and we've been busier than the proverbial one-armed paper hanger ever since.
Our little lottery, which was the first modern lottery in the United States, expanded in one week more than it had in five decades. So we have gone about visiting every corner of the state, recruiting retailers and launching a new product line. And the pile of stuff on my desk grows. It's divided into two categories: 'Does it need to get done?' or 'Is it on fire?'
One thing I never appreciated until I was a director is that we never get yesterday back. The state has expectations of revenue, not just expectations, but that's money they've already spent. We have to make $222,000 in profit every day to keep pace. May not seem like much to some states, but for a state of just over one million, it can be a challenge.
Since our money goes directly to fund schools, that's almost three teachers' annual salaries paid for, every day. So to make sure of the revenues, we have standing rules - like we can't make everyone happy (not everyone can win Powerball), but it better not be our fault. Patience goes a long way. I expect every citizen we encounter to ask: "Why were the NH Lottery employees so nice?" One thing that always goes to the top of the pile is a customer complaint. That's always on fire on my desk; they pay my salary.
So this latest column is late, and I apologize, sadly my job got in the way. It wasn't on fire on my desk, until it was. I told David Gale that if he didn't have it by a certain time he could have my first born. I was only half kidding; I love my oldest but he's eating me out of house and home. So the last minute it was.
Until next time, stay hungry lottery folks.