The Texas Lottery Commission is set to take action on the recent sore spot of overinflated jackpots by passing a rule to guarantee prize amounts.
If the proposed rule is adopted, the grand prize winner will be paid either the advertised jackpot or the jackpot based on sales, whichever is greater. The guarantees would apply to jackpots paid with the 25-year annuity, not to winners who choose the immediate cash-option payment.
The proposed rule also would require lottery officials to make a “fair and reasonable” estimation of potential jackpots. If the jackpot falls short of the estimate and ticket sales, the lottery would be allowed to pull money from other lottery funds to cover the difference.
What to do when those other sources of funding run dry is apparently a discussion to be held on another day.
In all seriousness, I think this is a good and necessary step for the TLC to take. If we’re going to have a lottery, we may as well be able to have faith in the fantasies that it’s selling. As long as they’re sufficiently conservative in their sales estimates and thus in their advertised prizes, this ought to go a long way towards fixing the problem.