The Board
President & CEO
Executive Staff
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Wednesday, November 17, 2004
Media Contact:  Gretchen Vanhorn
(615) 324-6554 Office
(615) 351-6972 Mobile
MISSING: 10 year old Hunter Craig of Collierville

The Tennessee Lottery joined forces with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation as part of this morning’s Amber Alert to help locate 10-year-old Hunter Craig of Collierville.

Today’s Amber Alert is the first issued since the Lottery finalized plans in August to partner with local law enforcement and TBI to be part of the Tennessee Amber Alert Network. Through this network, nearly 4,400 Lottery retailers statewide will play a role in the state’s efforts to help find missing or abducted children.

When the alert is activated by a local law enforcement agency, the TBI sends the information to partners across the state – a group which now includes the Tennessee Lottery retailer network. The information is then shared with Lottery retailers via their ticket-selling computer terminals where the child’s name, gender, age, and other vital information are displayed in bright red. After retailers receive the alert on their terminal screens, they then have the ability to print the information on computerized ticket stock and to post a print-out prominently in their establishments.

It is the hope of both the Tennessee Lottery and TBI that the Lottery’s retailer network will be able to assist law enforcement in promptly spreading the message to the public about the missing child, and aid in recovering the child as quickly as possible.

“This is just one of the many ways the Tennessee Lottery is working to help the community,” said Rebecca Paul, President and CEO. “We’re pleased to join hands with this exceptional effort and hope that we can be a small part of a successful outcome.”

Tennessee’s Amber Alert program is modeled after the nationwide Amber Plan, which was developed in 1996 after nine-year-old Amber Hagerman was abducted and murdered near her home in Arlington, Texas. The purpose of this plan, according to the official Tennessee Amber Alert web site, is to establish procedures to be followed in a child's abduction and ensure the greatest chance for the safe return of the child and the apprehension of the suspect. The Tennessee Lottery’s involvement in the Amber Alert program will help to increase the public’s awareness of the alert and better disseminate the vital information about the missing or abducted child.

The Tennessee Lottery began selling its first instant tickets on Jan. 20, 2004. As of Oct. 15, the Lottery had transferred more than $174 million to the Tennessee Lottery for Education account, as well as more than $2 million for after-school programs. All Lottery profits will go to pay for specific education programs in Tennessee, which initially include HOPE Scholarships.

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