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Michigan lottery irks students

Meghanne Downes | Thursday, September 4, 2003

Over 1,500 students waited outside Reckers Wednesday afternoon to obtain a ticket for the Michigan football ticket lottery; however, only 700 students left with lottery tickets.

Citing Indiana state law and NCAA regulations, Charlie Ebersol, Student Union Board President, said the SUB sponsored event was forced to shut down at 6 p.m. Indiana state law prevented SUB from holding the lottery for more than three hours.

“This year due to the irregularities and illegality of past years, and the fact that under state law a lottery is considered gambling, we had to operate under different and stricter regulations,” Ebersol said.

In previous years, the ticket lotteries were plagued with fraud as individuals who were not students and SUB staff members obtained tickets. Ebersol contributed this partly to the method of using phone books to track individuals who obtained lottery tickets.

The system used Wednesday involved swiping ID cards through a reader and then manually inputing the student’s AFS ID into the system. Ebersol and his staff then had to document all of the information they obtained from students and their entire lottery process for the University.

Several students were confused when the ticket line was cut off at the card swipe machine at 6:07 p.m., and not the inside door of Reckers as they were led to believe.

“I take responsibility for the errors that occurred, but we moved forward from last year with accommodating more people,” Ebersol said. “We realize it needs to get better and we are working to improve it.”

This was the second largest football ticket lottery at Notre Dame, the first being last year’s Florida State game and this year’s attendance surpassed the average by almost 200.

Ebersol said he has already spoken with OIT to improve the system for the Purdue and Boston College football ticket lottery.

The 148 winners of the lottery were announced in today’s paper and each winner will receive the opportunity to purchase two tickets.