We wrote Freedom of Information Act requests to every lottery in the country, eventually compiling more than 11 million records from 36 out of 45 lotteries. We conducted a survey about oversight of repeat winners that all but a couple of lotteries answered. And we read hundreds of financial and performance audits.
Eventually, we found frequent winning occurring in lotteries throughout the country. But oversight on this area was decidedly mixed, with 10 countries telling us they did not monitor frequent winners in a systematic way.
In Pennsylvania the Office of the Auditor General says it is examining information on unusually frequent Pennsylvania lottery winners.
Daniel Simmons-Ritchie is a reporter with PennLive.com in Harrisburg, Pa. Matthew Kauffman and Dave Altimari are reporters for The Hartford Courant in Connecticut. John Caniglia is a reporter for the Cleveland Plain-Dealer in Cleveland, Ohio. Mike Levenson is a reporter and Anica Butler is an editor at the Boston Globe. Jon Allsop, Selin Bozkaya, Cecilie Buhl, Jeremy House and Ayanna Runcie were all students at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism during the 2016-2017 school year. Susan Arbetter is the host of The Capitol Pressroom at public radio station WCNY in Syracuse, New York. John O’Brien is a reporter with the Syracuse Post-Standard and John Lammers is director of content at the Syracuse Media Group. Rich Schapiro is a reporter at the New York Daily News. Cory Schouten is senior editor at the Columbia Journalism Review. Caroline Preston was the interim editor for the fall issue of the World Policy Journal. Laurel Jarombek is World Policy Journal’s managing editor.