Posted: May 10, 2005 5:58 pm EST

Oklahoma hires Missouri's lottery director (~8 col. in.)
by Luke Engan/CNHI News Service
    Additional Information: Mo., Pa. note

    ** UPDATE - Lottery
    - Oklahoma voters approved a state lottery Nov. 2, with state revenue to go to education.
    - The election created the Oklahoma Lottery Commission, which met Tuesday to consider hiring an executive director.

    By Luke Engan
    CNHI News Service

    OKLAHOMA CITY - To oversee the state lottery's startup, state commissioners named an executive director Tuesday.
    The Oklahoma Lottery Commission chose James Scroggins of Jefferson City, Mo., after several hours in a closed session.
    Scroggins, 61, will start no later than June 6.
    Now executive director of Missouri's lottery, Scroggins worked as executive director of the Pennsylvania lottery for four years.
    The commitment is to launch scratch-off games by the end of October and computerized games by the end of January.
    "It's a pretty tight schedule but it'll happen. I've got some good people to help me," Scroggins said.
    Lottery officials are keeping to the dates because they are expected to start bringing in revenue for education in the next fiscal year.
    Scroggins said he is not yet informed about Oklahoma's school needs.
    He has not started up a lottery before.
    "This will be a way to start from the ground up," Scroggins said. "I do know what needs to be done and what vendors and employee considerations there are."
    Lottery startup cash may be supplemented by a bond issue if needed, but he is ready to stretch the sum afforded the lottery.
    "It'll have to last as long as it needs to," Scroggins said.
    Scroggins said the biggest challenges now are hiring lottery staffers and arranging meeting points for them.
    Gov. Brad Henry was pleased with the selection.
    "We want to move as quickly as possible to raise funds for education, but we also want to be cautious and make sure we do things right," he said. "Oklahomans deserve the best education lottery in the country."

    Luke Engan is CNHI Oklahoma reporter.

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