by Max Brantley
Roby Brock at Talk Business further interviews Arkansas Lottery Commissioner Derrick Smith (thanks to many copy editors for correction of my brain malfunction on the name) about the decision not to interview any applicants for the job but to recruit a non-applicant, Ernie Passailaigue, and hire him for a whopping $324,000. As to the pay:
“We saw this as a chance to invest in the future of Arkansas. We saw an opportunity to provide millions of dollars in scholarships to Arkansas students – perhaps billions – and when you think about it that way, it’s a perfectly appropriate way to leverage a couple of hundred thousand dollars and use that to turn it into billions of dollars for Arkansas citizens,” he said.
AND ON THAT SUBJECT: A reader sends along a 2005 South Carolina legislative audit of the lottery there. Noted: The South Carolina lottery's comparatively high salaries. Also, the audit reminds of some common lottery problems that are worth watching for here, such as sale of scratch-off tickets after top prizes have already been awarded, failure to fully advertise odds of winning and the presence of illegal gambling at some lottery vendors.