Stories

The IRE Resource Center is a major research library containing more than 27,000 investigative stories.

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Search results for "lottery" ...

  • Snake Eyes

    Washington Monthly examines state lotteries and their effects. It also looks at the HOPE program, which helps finance higher education for students in Georgia with lottery money. Yet, it contends that lotteries compromise values, feed a very dangerous industry, and end up snuffing out the success of even well-intentioned initiatives.
  • Billie Bob's (Mis)fortune

    The Houston Press profiles lottery winner Billie Bob Harrell, who took his life less than two years after winning a $31 million jackpot. Harrell never found Easy Street. Winning the lottery lead Harrell into divorce and financial overextension. He cashed in his half of 10 years worth of lottery payments worth 6 million for $2.25 million -- still five weeks later he took his own life. "Winning the lottery was the worst thing that ever happened to me," he said.
  • At Your Expense

    WFXT reports on how "Massachusetts state lottery workers travel out of state at taxpayer expense." Through a hidden camera investigation the story details the leisure activities of the lottery director and eights lottery workers during a 5-day conference which has cost the taxpayers $13,000. The reporter shows how during the conference the lottery participants have missed important lessons about preventing compulsive gambling, considered an important issue in Massachusetts.
  • The Hidden Addiction

    This series examines the social costs of gambling. For all its profitmaking, the real losers are the gamblers and their families. According to the report, there are 100,000 "gambling addicts" in Oregon which result in financial straights (bankrupticies, bad loans), as well as emotional pressures.
  • Ohio Hedges Its Bet

    "Increasing competition from neighboring states and an interest by Gov. Bob Taft in enhancing Ohio's lottery options prompted The Dispatch to explore the issue during the past year." Proponents argue that billions of dollars are lost when Ohioans gamble out-of-state, but who are the real losers? The Dispatch finds that "lottery players with annual incomes under $20,000 spend nearly twice as much per person ... as those in the middle-income bracket."
  • Confronting the numbers

    In this three-part series, the Pittsburgh Tribune Review investigates the state's corrupt lottery system. In particular, the author writes about the lottery system's relationship with senior-citizens programs and poor neighborhoods and about why Pennsylvania got a lottery in the first place.
  • Settling for Less

    U.S. News & World Report investigates a fast-growing new industry called factoring. "Factoring companies convert future payments like lottery winnings into cash." The author finds that "many beneficiaries of these 'structured settlements' were selling their future payments, then spending the lump sums they received in exchange for new cars, clothes and furniture...."
  • Questions surround Arkansas casino firm

    A public company trying to legalize casino gambling, charitable bingo and a lottery in Arkansas was founded by a ragtag group of business partners with questionable pasts.
  • More lottery tickets bought in low-income neighborhoods

    Far more lottery tickets are sold in low and middle income neighborhoods than in high-income areas, according to a computer-assisted study by the Austin American-Statesman. The American-Statesman finds that since the Texas lottery began in 1992, sales averaged 491 tickets per household in the poorest third of the state by 366 in per household in the richest third.
  • And the Winner Is

    Dateline's investigation of the giant sweepstakes company American Family Publishers shows that what you see in all those mailings is not what you get. The fine print says, the odds are determined by the number of entries. Dateline asked the company for true odds. After working on it for over a week it finally sent this: "for the big prize - the chances are anywhere from 100 to 200 million to one." That is worse than almost any lottery in the land.