Editorial & Opinions by Dawn Nettles
June 12, 2020 - This is a GREAT day for lottery players all over the world. And especially for those who hold
Fun 5's scratch tickets here in Texas! Lottery players buy scratch tickets in good faith and those who sell these
tickets should sell them in good faith. But that's not always been the case and maybe it'll change in the near future.
This is because today, the Texas Supreme Court is sending our lawsuits BACK to the courts to be heard
and decided by Juries. They said - No Sovereign Immunity for G-Tech. They will be held accountable in a
Court of Law.
As a reporter here in Texas, I can tell you countless stories from scratch tickets players who have been
wronged. Many of these stories are posted on this website. For years, I've devoted my life to reporting
lottery news in hopes of making a difference in the way lottery players are treated by those in Power. Today
I feel there is hope. Maybe - we will have a lottery - but one that is FAIR - and not just a rip off to unsuspecting
The lawyers have posted all the documents and a story ... Go read it for complete details. Click here
One more thing ... my phone is still ringing ... Congratulations to YOU too for standing up for your rights!
Dec 4, 2019 - Yesterday the attorneys for both
the Nettles vs G-Tech and Steele vs G-Tech Fun 5's cases gave
oral arguments to the Texas Supreme Court in Austin. This was truly an historic event - one that you should all
your valuable time to sit down and watch. (Dec 3, 2019 -Watch both Nettles and Steele cases)
I want you all to know that the lawyers representing all of you and even me did a FANTASTIC job. Win or
lose, they did us right. There are good people who are willing to help those who can't help themselves and
God blessed us with them. There's no way we could ever find the words good enough to thank them. But I'll try ...
Thank you from the bottom of our hearts Thad Spaulding, Kevin Parker, Manfred Sternberg and
Richard LaGarde including your staffs who have worked so diligently for all of us. We are grateful.
It is my opinion that both G-Tech's attorneys and the attorney from the TX AG's office misrepresented facts to the
Justices. I concluded that obviously ethics and honesty means absolutely nothing to them. They'll say or do anything
keep from being held accountable so they can continue to sell deceptive and/or unfair games of chance to consumers.
I only pray that the Justices will read what's in the record.
The Texas Supreme Court holds the rights of lottery players all over the United States in their hands right now.
Will they give G-Tech, a private
immunity from lawsuits? Will they give G-Tech and any
lottery a free pass
to sell deceptive tickets to consumers with no accountability? Or will they allow the People an opportunity to seek
justice when it's warranted? I chose to believe the latter will come to pass.
I've been fighting for consumer
protection for lottery players since at least 2002 to no avail. The reason
that Texas will NOT give consumer protection to
lottery players is because our elected officials fear that
the games offered by the Texas Lottery are unfair, unreasonable and inequitable games of
chance and a court
would force changes or
would shut the games down.
What do I mean by "unfair, unreasonable, inequitable?"
1) Selling a game that has 26 million combinations but they only sell 1 million
and many of
are duplicates. In Lotto language, this is known as "coverage." One can easily conclude there most likely will be
NO winner, that is until,
there's been at
35 to 45 consecutive draws when the lottery finally runs of out "luck"
and a combination of numbers
is finally drawn that a player actually holds in his hands.
2) Scratch tickets with a "second chance to win" are deceiving as hell. I would advise all players to QUIT buying these
games. For years you've been complaining to me about these games not ever paying much in cash. Well the reason is
that the money to pay for the 2nd chance "prizes" comes from the prize pool. Bottom line - there's fewer cash prizes.
Your complaints are justified.
As one player pointed out to me a while back - the Texas Lottery lies to every player who scans one of these tickets
because the lottery terminal says, "NOT A WINNER." The terminal should say something like ...
"Eligible for a second
chance to win."
Do you have any idea how long the TLC has gotten away with this deception? But this would require
programming on their part but heck,
they say, "Why bother when we can get away with not reminding the players to
enter their losing ticket for a chance to
win something else!"
What's really bad about the games with a 2nd chance to win is that the FEW worthwhile prizes - the values they place on
those prizes are grossly
inflated causing players
to pay more in federal taxes. And the amount paid for a jersey or a hat is
absurd - and is paid directly from the prize pool.
I'm currently working on a story on this very issue
and it is forthcoming - it's requiring a great deal of research.
This is why I believe our elected officials will not give lottery players consumer
protection - very sad but true.
The closest lottery players will ever get to having consumer protection is IF the Supreme Court tells G-Tech
that they are and will be accountable to the citizens of Texas.
Ironically, the man who was elected and sworn in - Ken Paxton - to protect the citizens of TX from fraudulent activities,
shady claims, deceitful
business tactics submitted a brief to the Supreme Court asking it to give G-Tech immunity from
lawsuits from the People of TX. He sent an
attorney to appear before the Justices to fight the case for G-Tech. This
man lied to the Justices when he told them in essence that G-Tech had "no control" and "a lawsuit against G-Tech was
the same as a lawsuit against the State" which is so far from the truth that it sent chills down my back. I guess somebody
forgot the tell these lawyers who say G-Tech has "no control" and "no discretion" should ask just how much G-Tech has
been sanctioned over the years for their errors or bad advice! Or maybe they should simply read the transcripts. Of
course, the monies paid went to the TLC, not Texas Lottery players.
One has to wonder, the State IS immune and
would NOT suffer any financial losses no matter how this case ends,
so why would or did the AG get involved?
Folks you need to know that
AG Ken Paxton was a Senator at the time this ticket hit the streets
and he told his
constituents that they didn't
know how to read and sided with the TLC when complaints started coming in.
This was what the TLC told him to say.
Now he knows
what "really happened" yet he's still trying to protect
G-Tech when the state has nothing to lose. Hmmm....
For those of you who may not know, Paxton was indicted in 2015 by a grand jury in Collin County. The charges
stem from claims that he persuaded friends and colleagues to invest in a North Texas tech company without disclosing
he would make a commission. He is charged with two counts of first-degree felony securities fraud and a third-degree
felony for failing to register with the state as an investment adviser.
A year before Paxton was indicted, he admitted to illegally soliciting potential clients without registering with the State
when he signed a reprimand and paid a $1,000 fine to the Texas State Securities Board. Whether signing that reprimand
amounts to an admission of guilt will be up to a jury to decide.
I wonder, how much did Paxton receive for sending a brief to the Supreme Court to fight for a private sector business?
Apparently he's still for sale to
the highest bidder. <grin>
In spite of all that I've just said, I chose to believe the Justices will render their decision based on the merits of
the law and let our cases go to trial to be heard and decided by a jury of 12 citizens. I pray that they will
recognize the lies and innuendos they were told yesterday - A couple of examples include ...
1) "There was nothing wrong with the directions" - this is a lie - the directions were never changed and were
same exact directions used on "winning" tickets in other states. Plus G-Tech employees admitted that
their job to make certain the directions would be applicable to any changes TX made to the ticket. The language
on this ticket was NOT "multiplier" language and they KNOW it and they know it should have been changed.
2) "The lottery designed the ticket" - No, the TX lottery did not design the ticket. They simply picked it out of a
catalog full of tickets and made changes to it like they do all tickets - added TX logo's, addresses, symbol changes -
things ALL states do when bringing in new scratch ticket.
3) "G-Tech determined no changes were needed" - this is where G-Tech erred and failed to do their job. They
used "winning ticket" language for a "multiplier" win. A real NO-NO and TX Lottery staff knows it.
4) They tried confusing the Justices by mentioning "micro scratching" as a legitimate reason for a placing a
winning symbol on non winning tickets. How the lawyers could ever think that the directions didn't need changing
I'll never know. In fact, I to think the lawyers actually told the Justices that the language was changed but I'm not sure.
Either way - the language (directions) remained EXACTLY the same except they changed the symbol to a money
bag and used the word "money bag."
Maybe - if G-Tech is held accountable - our elected
officials will do the job they were elected to do and will
finally acknowledge how deceptive the Texas Lottery has been and will force much needed
changes or do away
with the lottery once and for all. Consumers should be protected from wrongdoings and not sold deceptive products.
Watch the oral arguments. You should find them or great interest. Link in 1st paragraph.
Oct 20, 2019 - Friday, the Attorney General for the State of Texas
filed an Amicus Brief in the Supreme Court.
In its brief, the State of Texas
sides with GTECH against its own lottery players. The State argues, in essence,
the courts should stay in their lane and not allow lottery players
to sue GTECH for fraud. The attorneys have explained
this on their website. You should all go read it.
Also, a really good editorial was written and posted in 2018 at Lottery Players Association of TX regarding renewal of
G-Tech's contract way before it was due. This tidbit got past me and I never reported it to you. I tell you this because
this was a "heads up" to motive regarding our lawsuits. Go read it.
And finally, I've been working on a story since May 2019 . It was requested of me to meet some folks in Austin
who had thing they wanted to report. At our lottery, things have gotten really out of hand. The employees
recognize what's taking place and that it's not good for Texas. It would be better described by me to say
that they have a conscience and couldn't take it anymore. There's a chosen few that are partaking in these
things so I've been investigating without co-operation from the TLC.
So far, I've only posted 3 stories but another one is coming tomorrow, Monday, Oct 21, 2019. I hope
when you read what I've uncovered, you will contact your elected officials by phone to call for a full scale
investigation. The abuse of lottery money is completely out of hand and this story is ONLY the beginning of
what I will be showing you in upcoming stories.
The Perks Of Running A Lottery
Part 1 - Aug 11, 2019 - Texas Lottery Lacks Transparency
Part 2 - Aug 11, 2019 - An Open Records Nightmare
Part 3 - Aug 21, 2019 - Running A Red Light To Travel
Part 4 - Oct 21, 2019 - Investigative Reporting - Director Grief's Favorite Pastime, Traveling
June 29, 2019 - Yesterday I received notice that
the Texas Supreme Court issued an order to hear oral arguments
in Steele et al. v. GTECH and
in my case. The Court set oral arguments for December 3, 2019 at 9:00 a.m.
The purpose is to determine if G-Tech can be sued - G-Tech claims they have sovereign immunity. After
the Justices hear both sides, they will move forward to make the final decision. Hopefully they will issue
a decision before the end of their term which is June of 2020. Basically between Jan 2020 and June 2020.
If they say no sovereign
immunity for G-Tech, then our cases go back to the courts and moves forward.
If they deem G-Tech is immune
from lawsuits, then it's all over.
After the hearing, you will be able to see a video of the arguments given by the attorneys and you will be
able to see what questions are asked by the Justices.
Sept 29, 2018 - I received word late yesterday that the Texas Supreme Court has asked for briefs to be filed on
the merits of our case. This is true for my case (Nettles vs G-Tech) as well as the Austin Case (Steele vs G-Tech).
The good news is that they want more information - they didn't throw it out which is something G-Tech was hoping
The attorney's predict it is possible that the Supreme Court will also call for oral testimony in January 2019.
As you all know, I've not been posting much because the Lawyers Blog has been keeping everyone up to date
with all that has transpired. So far, it's been all filings so there's not really much for me to say so I don't!
It's Election Time ... NOW Fun 5 Players Can Speak Up ...
Since I am writing, I do want to remind everyone that it is now ELECTION time and this is what we've been waiting for
to let our elected officials know how we feel regarding the action they took when we all contacted them to help us in 2014.
If you will recall, they told us that we didn't know how to read. For a quick, partial refresher on our communications to them,
read May and June entries on this page.
I was on the line with many of you when you spoke to either your rep and/or his/her representative.
In mailings and/or emails, I was copied by many of you then you shared the response you received in return.
In this posting I will only name those where I know first hand that they allowed our
state run lottery to
NOT honor the face value of a scratch ticket. They turned their backs and hoped this issue would simply
go away. As you know, statewide candidates are the only ones we can ALL vote for so you will
have to check your own district to see if your State Rep and State Senator is still the same person you spoke
to and you will know
if they helped you or not.
Two Senators in 2014, Dan Patrick and Ken Paxton are now on the statewide ballot. Both turned their backs
on us and their staffs were very rude. Ted Cruz, Pete Sessions and John Cornyn were contacted and all three
refused to get involved. Governor Greg Abbot also refused to help, rather he instructed Gary Grief to respond for him.
Do I need to remind you that these people are elected to work for and to protect the PEOPLE?
If you want to be heard, then speak with your VOTE in November. They hear votes! Don't let them get away with
allowing the Texas Lottery and G-Tech to sell deceptive tickets.
Jan 23, 2018 - Just thought I'd let you all know there's a big story in the Caller Times about the cases going to the
and how the Austin and Dallas Courts have ruled in our cases. Click here to read it.
Also I've made a "site map" for all the different Fun 5's posting on my site so you can easily find what you may be
looking for. This "Update page"
and the new "Site Map" page will be the pages to watch in the future. I'm trying to fix
my main pages to reflect this one change.
Click here to see the Fun 5's Site Map.
Jan 11, 2018 - We received fantastic news this morning - news that could affect lottery players world wide. The Austin Court
ruled today that G-Tech does NOT have Sovereign Immunity meaning they can be sued for wrong doing. Now it goes without
saying that G-Tech will most likely appeal this decision. But it just so happens I have faith and I firmly believe the Supreme Court
will uphold the lower courts decision. In the meantime, we have cause for believing our courts will not allow players to be lied
to and taken advantage of any longer.
The lawyers (Richard) have some details posted but are still reviewing the decision. Click here to see what's been posted thus far.
Read the Court of Appeals Opinion, click here (pdf)
Also, I just learned that there's a Texas Lottery Players Association who is fighting for a fair and honest lottery. My hats off to them.
You should all read their site. On the lawyers site, there a link to the South Carolina story which is what I just read that I found
very interesting. Anyway, click here to see for yourself. Everyone should join the Players Association - it's a great idea. Here's a
direct link to the Associations site with the SC story, click here)
August 6, 2017 - It goes without saying that I was extremely disappointed in the decision handed down by the Dallas Court.
Just the words, "the court affirm the trial court's order granting G-Tech plea" was an attention getter. As you all know,
this is my lawsuit against G-Tech. The Dallas ruling has absolutely no bearing on the Austin case.
I, like all of you, have been instructed by the attorneys to NOT comment about our lawsuits. So, unlike Trump, I will do
exactly as I've been told! <huge grin>
Instead, I'm just going to let the documents speak for themselves.
The Opinion and what's happened since ....
Here is the official ruling of the Dallas Appeals Court ....
Dallas Court of Appeals Opinion, click here
Then G-Tech attorney's immediately sent the following letter to the Austin Court advising them of the Dallas decision ....
G-Tech's Letter to Austin Court, click here
Finally, Mark Lanier, the attorney representing the 1500 Fun 5's lottery players, sent this letter to the Austin Courts explaining
how the 5th Circuit erred in their decision
Letter to Austin Appeals Court on behalf of the Fun 5's players, click here
On Friday, August 4, the following was filed with the Dallas Court by my attorneys.
In concluding my comments -
IF G-Tech is given immunity from lawsuits, then lottery players world wide need to come together to outlaw all state
is not right that consumers have no recourse when they have been cheated. And there are MANY examples of players who were
cheated - here in TEXAS and across the US. The lotteries are out of control on giving players games that are not winnable - the
odds are to the extreme - not consumer friendly. Scratch tickets are out of control - all for the love of money.
April 22, 2017 - A couple of thing to say or share with you today. But first, NO, there is no ruling from
the Appeals Court. They have no deadlines or time frames - that's the rule of the law.
But when there is
a ruling, I will post it immediately for ya'll.
The other day I read a very interesting bio on Manfred Sternberg. As I read it, it occurred to me that I don't think
I ever gave ya'll any
personal information about Manfred. For that, I'm truly sorry. I should have told ya'll more about
in the beginning. Anyway, I wanted to share his "life history" with ya'll so you can see the "human"
side of him - not just the "attorney" side. As you read it, you'll see how much he cares about what's in the
best interest of the People and I think you'll understand why he came to our rescue several years ago.
Click here to read Manfred's bio.
One last comment about Manfred .... anyone who spends their valuable time taking a service dog to a hospital to help
comfort others, speaks volumes about character. How fortunate can Texas Lottery players be in having such a human
being speaking for us?
Regarding Richard LaGarde - I think you've all come to know Richard quite well as he's given us all an insight through his
journey with leukemia. It takes courage to share his most intimate details - I can only imagine the thousands of
people he has helped with his writings.
I feel compelled to comment on one of Richard's latest postings - he titled it "Chemo Brain." He's describing
side effects which has to do with memory. Well, I've not had chemo but I can assure you that what he
described happens to me EVERY day without fail!!!
I realize there's nothing funny about side effects of chemo, but sometimes you just have to have a sense of humor.
He says that he gets up to go do something but forgets what he was going to do and why he got up. That's
not really funny but it happens to me at least 10 times per day and he described me very well!
Richard is strong - very strong - and he has a tremendous sense of humor. I hope that by sharing my
lack of memory will help him feel better. In his case, his memory will improve .... but mine .... well, I'm
just not sure my memory will ever get better!
Maybe Richard or Manfred will send me some personal info about Mark Lanier so I can share his
human side with ya'll too. And hopefully, the next time I write something, it'll be that the Appeals Court
issued an opinion.
Jan 24, 2017 - I know it feels like we've been forgotten, but that's far from the truth. In the Austin case,
oral testimony was given to the Appeals Court on October 26, 2016 so we're just waiting for the court to
issue their opinion. Everything stands still until that decision is given.
In my case, the 5th Court of Appeals heard oral testimony on Jan 11, 2017. So again, we can't move
forward until they issue their opinion.
I know many of you would like to know more about what goes on or what's said during oral arguments.
In Dallas, the Court posts a recording online of the actual hearing. If you would like to hear the arguments,
click here. Scroll down to "Case Events," then click on the January 11, 2017 link that's described
with an extension of "mp3/7158." You should find listening to the attorneys first hand
of great interest. The hearing was about 55 minutes long so that's how long the recording is.
As I write this message, the link is second on the list.
After you hear each argument presented, then you should read the "Post Submission" made to the
court. You can either click my link or the one on the courts page right above the "Submitted."
I am of the belief that the courts will do the right thing and hold G-Tech accountable. Clearly G-Tech
should not be entitled to sovereign immunity. - in my humble opinion - of course.
Ya'll be patient, that's the only thing you can do. We are at the mercy of the courts and so are
our attorneys. Have faith - Justice WILL Prevail!
Dec 11, 2016 - On Oct 26, 2016, oral arguments were heard by the Appeals Court in Austin
with regard to G-Tech claiming they have Sovereign Immunity and can NOT be sued. I firmly
believe the courts will NOT give G-Tech immunity. Consumers have rights but G-Tech thinks
otherwise. We are currently awaiting the courts decision.
In my case in Dallas, oral arguments will be heard in January 2017.
Neither case will move forward until the immunity issued is settled once and for all. We have the
finest attorneys representing us and I do believe we will prevail in the end. G-Tech has deep pockets
and will continue to drag this out as long as they can. Let's just hope that the courts do the
same thing to G-Tech as they did to Donald Trump. In November, the courts refused to
allow Trump to stall (postpone) his case again. This was the case where folks sued over
Interestingly, as we all know, Mr. Trump settled quickly rather than to go to trial at that time.
To me, this is a sign of guilt!
Previous Update Pages
Fun 5's Update #3 Jan 26, 2016 - Dec 11, 2016 ... Click here
Fun 5's Update #2 Jan 29, 2015 - Dec 7, 2015 ... Click here
Fun 5's Update #1 Oct 3, 2014 - Dec 9, 2014 ...Click here