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Georgia’s Lottery Director To Retire

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(Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

(Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

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ATLANTA – (WAOK/AJC) –  Georgia’s Lottery Director,  Margaret DeFrancisco is stepping down.  DeFrancisco,  who has led the lottery for the past eight years tendered her resignation,  on Wednesday,  saying she plans to retire and return to New York,  where she has family.   “It’s time,” the lottery chief said, adding that it was a “wrenching” decision. She had been considering retirement for months, she said, and had held conversations about it with Georgia Lottery Chairman James Braswell.   The Georgia Lottery said its board of trustees will conduct a search for DeFrancisco’s replacement.    “The board of directors is committed to making the necessary transition seamlessly and smoothly,” Braswell said in a statement. “We share a common goal of continuing to move this organization forward.” He also praised DeFrancisco for “her years of exemplary service to the Lottery and the citizens of Georgia.”   DeFrancisco did not provide a departure date, but said her retirement is not “imminent or immediate.”   She served as the director of the New York Lottery before coming to Georgia and became the second president and chief executive officer in the Georgia Lottery’s 10-year history. She replaced Rebecca Paul, who had served since February 1993.   The state lottery recently passed $50 billion in sales since its inception in 1993.   The lottery recently posted record annual sakes of $3.8 billion for fiscal year 2012, which ended June 30.   That’s more than $236 million ahead of last year’s sales. It transferred more than $900 million to state coffers to fund the HOPE scholarship and pre-kindergarten programs, about $55 million more than last year’s figures.   Last month, state lottery officials approved for the first time an online ticket system, with sales to the public set to begin as soon as November for Powerball, Mega Millions and Fantasy 5 games. The move is expected to increase the Georgia Lottery’s revenue by millions of dollars a year and position the state to be among the first to expand lottery sales to the Internet.    All eyes will be on the Georgia Lottery on Wednesday night for the $320 million Powerball drawing.      Powerball is played in 42 states, including the District of Columbia. 

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