Gaming the lottery: Anatomy of a global investigation

  • Event: 2018 CAR Conference
  • Speakers: Yaffa Fredrick of World Policy Journal; Jeff Kelly Lowenstein of Grand Valley State University; Daniel Simmons-Ritchie of Spotlight PA; Allison Donahue of Grand Valley State University
  • Date/Time: Saturday, Mar. 10 at 10:15am
  • Location: Grand Ballroom I
  • Audio file: Only members can listen to conference audio

Few activities are more deeply ingrained into daily life than purchasing a lottery ticket. In November 2016, a group of journalists from Africa, Europe, the U.S., Australia and Latin America met to discuss undertaking an investigation into the the global lottery industry.We have carried out the project since then, bringing to light a series of unsavory elements of the industry that generated nearly $300 billion in revenue in 2014. Published in radio, online, print and television outlets, the project has had impact in four states in the U.S. as well as in South Africa. 

Speaker Bios

  • Allison Donahue is an undergraduate student at Grand Valley State University studying multimedia journalism. Her focus is on investigative and political journalism. @donahual

  • Yaffa Fredrick is Special Projects Editor for World Policy Journal, a leading foreign affairs publication that focuses on in-depth investigative reporting worldwide. She is also an Opinion Producer for, where she commissions political and social commentary on breaking news events. Over her career, Fredrick has worked on investigations for PBS, MTV and others -- covering voter suppression, financial corruption and government criminality.

  • Jeff Kelly Lowenstein is an investigative journalist, author and an assistant professor of Journalism at Grand Valley State University.  He is the founder of the Center for Collaborative Investigative Journalism, a non-profit organization that brings together investigative journalists, photographers and data scientists to conduct international investigations. A Fulbright Scholar, Specialist and Teacher, he has written or edited six books. @JeffKLO

  • Daniel Simmons-Ritchie (@DanielSR) is an investigative reporter with Spotlight PA in Harrisburg, Pa. He has earned numerous state and national awards for his work, particularly on health care, criminal justice, and the environment.

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