Lottery audit: Winners using dead people’s IDs to collect

An audit of the state’s lottery has found that 46 winners from July 2013 to July 2014 used social security numbers of dead people to collect their winnings.

The audit released Wednesday said that the use of dead people’s identification numbers creates a risk of reduced tax revenue for the state, overpayment of public assistance, and lost collections on child support, defaulted student loans and other debt.

State Auditor Stephen Eells also says that up to $890,000 in prize winnings could have been recovered if winners below $250,000 were checked for debts. The audit recommends checks for all winners over $600.

Lottery Executive Director Carole Hedinger says that the lottery has a new system to maximize debt collection. She says the lottery collected nearly $300,000 from winners that owed the state.

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