Christie private lottery deal helped friends

 The NJ Lottery VIP club allows members to get lottery numbers email to them.

The NJ Lottery VIP club allows members to get lottery numbers email to them.

 New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s move to privatize the state lottery’s management has benefited firms close to the governor while failing to deliver expected income gains.

The Associated Press found the state’s lottery had been one of the most efficient under government control. But since a private manager took over two years ago, the games are heading for a second straight year of missed financial targets.

The deal was shepherded by lobbying and public relations firms close to Christie. They received hundreds of thousands of dollars in fees, while the lottery’s financial shortfalls could spell trouble for social programs that depend on the money.

State officials say this year’s lower earnings stem from an unlucky streak of low jackpots, and say private management will ultimately pay off.

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