A Tribute to the Tennessee Education Lottery’s
Board of Directors
Ralph Batch, the U.S. lottery leader and pioneer liked to joke, "He
wouldn’t mind being a pioneer so long as he didn’t have to go first".
Another of his favorite sayings was, "you can always tell a pioneer by
the arrows in his back".
In reality, Ralph was the leading lottery pioneer of his time, responsible
for many of the most important innovations upon which secure
and successful lotteries are based. Ralph started the New Jersey
Lottery, which quickly became the most successful lottery in North
America. He subsequently started the Illinois Lottery, made that lottery
successful and in the process put the illegal numbers games out of
business in Illinois. He completed his pioneering career as a lottery
director by rejuvenating and making successful the Delaware Lottery*.
In Tennessee, we have a new set of lottery pioneers, the members of
the Board of Directors of the Tennessee Education Lottery. To ensure
that the Tennessee Lottery gets off to the most successful possible
start, the members of this Lottery Board had the leadership-courage to
offer the highest salaries and bonus programs among lotteries in the
country in order to attract the best lottery start-up director in the
world, Rebecca Paul - and a staff of experts that she could attract -
despite the storm of criticism that they knew this action would draw.
With Rebecca Paul, the board has chosen well.
Rebecca started her lottery career as director of the Illinois Lottery
and immediately excelled. When Florida approved a lottery and needed
an outstanding leader, they recruited Rebecca Paul. She and her
start-up team then made the Florida Lottery the most successful lottery
start-up, to that time. When Georgia approved a lottery, the governor
of Georgia sent a team to Florida to recruit Rebecca to be CEO
and start the Georgia Lottery. Her Georgia Lottery start-up eclipsed the
Florida start to become the most successful lottery start-up in history.
Her subsequent, exemplary management made the Georgia Lottery the
great success that it has become.
The Board of Directors of the Tennessee Lottery has a huge, serious
challenge – to see that the state’s new lottery lives up to the great
expectations of the people of Tennessee and fulfills the educationfunding
goals of the Tennessee lottery legislation. As new lottery leaders,
these Board members quickly learned that the successful start-up
and early, growth years of a lottery are absolutely critical to the lottery’s
long-term revenue success. Based upon that knowledge, they
committed to pay the premiums necessary to get the most experienced
lottery start-up leader in the world, Rebecca Paul, and a talented staff
to start the Tennessee Lottery.
The Board of the Tennessee lottery is now experiencing what every
lottery pioneer experiences, arrows in the back from second guessers
and detractors with their own agendas. It is a regrettable but historically,
predictable scenario. I am sure that the Board will remain confident
of its course and will remain resolute in pressing on to success.
Public Gaming Research Institute congratulates and commends the
members of the Tennessee Lottery Board of Directors for their wisdom,
foresight, courage and pioneering spirit on behalf of their constituents,
the people of Tennessee..
* Ralph Batch then became a consultant to Public Gaming Research Institute and was
a member of its Board of Directors until he passed away. His name still appears on the
masthead of Public Gaming International magazine. He is honored annually at the
NASPL awards program by advertising awards presented in his name.
How Do You Recognize a Lottery Pioneer?
By the Arrows in His Back By Duane V. Burke, CEO/Publisher