The past few weeks have been a mixed bag for the Ohio Lottery. While there have been some encouraging developments (particularly in the education field), frauds and scams have made headlines, too.
There’s plenty of news to dive into. Let’s start with the good stuff.
Ohio Lottery Partners in Education’s Shining Star: Katherine Malynn
Each week, the Ohio Lottery Partners in Education Program recognizes role model students from across the state. This week, Katherine Malynn of Walsh Jesuit High School was honored as OLPE’s shining star.
Katherine is a lacrosse and field hockey captain for her school’s team, the Warriors. Always on the move, Katherine stays busy by engaging in a number of community service programs while maintaining a strong GPA.
Katherine believes the contact between the coaches and players is essential. This creates the right chemistry for everyone on the field to grow.
Malynn takes her role as lacrosse captain very seriously, trying to mesh the individuals into a cohesive unit. Lacrosse is a sport where scoring and possession are critical. Katherine has her stick in the middle of the Warriors’ offense.
“I play attack but I also take the draw which is at the beginning of the game, kind of like the tip-off in basketball …. I’m offense, I’ve been varsity for lacrosse for four years.”
According to Katherine, winning the draw at the beginning of the game is decisive. She says there’s a lot of pressure on the one drawing. However, at the same time, she finds comfort that her teammates are always there to help her.
Walsh Jesuit Athletic Director Mark Hassman finds Katherine’s selection for this award impressive, yet not surprising.
“It just shows you what type of person she is and what kind of leader she is,” Hassman reported. “These people look up to her. Younger students usually vote for captains anyway, but if your teammates are voting for you each time, that tells you a lot about you as a person.”
In the classroom, Katherine is achieving success as well. Next year, she has her sights set on studying business at the Ohio State University.
“I liked the big campus … and I liked the city feel. The sports are great to watch and I just felt at home there. I believe I have some good communication skills. I think I’d want to go venture into something like that.”
Hassman is of the opinion that Malynn’s work ethic got her where she is today.
“I see the way she works in the classroom, her curiosity, and her desire to be the best she can be. I see that in the athletic field as well,” he said.
Malynn is also very aware of her role in the community, volunteering at an assisted living facility.
One of her other passions is the conservation of the earth. To this end, she’s joined the Walsh Jesuit screen team that focuses on recycling.
“The conservation of earth, I think is something very beneficial that I could work on through school. At least I can attempt to make a difference because doing something hands-on is definitely helpful to your mind. It makes you feel good after it.”
Caught in the act
A man and a woman were arrested on suspicion of using fake lottery tickets to defraud numerous gas stations in Southeast Ohio. As stated by the Vinton County Sheriff‘s Office, police officers responded to a call from Buds One Stop in McArthur about a man trying to cash in a fake lottery ticket.
The man identified as 37-year-old Chris Chambers of Wellston. Thereafter, he was taken into custody at the Southeastern Regional Jail.
Deputies were clued in on a second person of interest, identified as Thelma Swepston, 36, also of Wellston. Swepston, who had allegedly been working with Chambers, was questioned on March 15. She was ultimately remanded at the Galia County Jail.
Investigations revealed that Chambers and his accomplice had allegedly defrauded multiple gas stations in Vinton County, as well as in neighboring counties.
We can expect bond hearings for both suspects held in the coming days. Furthermore, according to authorities, additional charges through the Vinton County Prosecution Office are likely.
Fake prizes, sweepstakes, and lottery scams
Reports indicate that lottery fraud is becoming very popular these days, with scams occurring on a more frequent basis.
Scammers employ many common techniques to defraud the system. For instance, these might even include using a false or altered lottery ticket to claim a prize. Several perpetrators will present an authentic, yet stolen ticket to claim a prize through misrepresentation.
Other styles of deception involve cases of insider fraud. Under such circumstances, employees or agents engaged in the lottery exploit their position by fraudulently claiming prizes for themselves, or tampering with the lottery draw itself.
A different, though standard, lottery sham informs people via email, letter, or phone that they’re lottery prize winners. After this, the target then pays a small amount of money to cover customer charges, administrative fees, and taxes.
Additionally, those that play the lottery ought to be vigilant of fake checks too.
Checks aren’t in circulation as much as they once were, but they are still used to make transactions. People have received reward checks in their mail informing them that they had won, only to take the check to the bank to discover it was fake.