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Margaret DeFrancisco, Ga. Lottery CEO: $496,776



The head of the Georgia Lottery made about a half-million dollars last year, but you wouldn’t know it if you checked salary data on the state auditor’s website.

DeFrancisco shows Margaret DeFrancisco, president and CEO of the Georgia Lottery Corp., was paid $353,500 in salary in FY2010, plus $17,720 for travel. What it doesn’t tell you is that the lottery paid her an additional $143,276 bonus last year.

DeFrancisco also collected paychecks totaling $490,000 in FY2009 and $436,000 the year before that. But information provided to the auditor shows only a $286,000 salary in 2009 and nothing at all the year before that. (The auditor didn’t ask for that information until 2009).

None of the incentive pay awarded to lottery employees is reflected at Open.Georgia.Gov, a review of data for 2009 and 2010 shows. Those payments totaled $1.89 million in 2010 and nearly $15.4 million since 2005.

Compensation data posted at Open.Georgia.Gov is provided by the various state agencies, and the auditor’s office does not check whether it is accurate or complete.

Lottery officials will provide rudimentary information on incentive pay for DeFrancisco and other employees if you call and ask, but they’re fuzzy on the details. Lottery spokesman Tandi Reddick said in an e-mail that DeFrancisco’s pay was based on an independent study:

“The Georgia Lottery Corp.’s board of directors determine her base pay and incentives, which were based on an independent compensation study conducted by Mercer University and the state of Georgia’s State Personnel Administration. Her salary and incentive are based on the profits returned to education and personal performance, which include sales of more than $3.6 billion and profits to education of more than $883.8 million.”

Sadly, lottery officials haven’t been able to provide me with a copy of that study because they can’t seem to find it. And Reddick declined to release any documents that would show how DeFrancisco’s bonus is calculated, citing Section 50-27-25 of the Georgia Lottery for Education Act:

“The corporation is specifically authorized to determine which information relating to the operation of the lottery is confidential. Such information includes trade secrets; security measures, systems, or procedures; security reports; information concerning bids or other contractual data, the disclosure of which would impair the efforts of the corporation to contract for goods or services on favorable terms; employee personnel information unrelated to compensation, duties, qualifications, or responsibilities; and information obtained pursuant to investigations which is otherwise confidential.”

Call me crazy, but I can’t see how language that exempts information that is “unrelated” to compensation can be applied to information that is directly related to compensation. I am seeking clarification on this point with Attorney General Sam Olens’ office.

The State Auditor this week released a report that discusses incentive pay at the lottery and explains how it is calculated, under a method first used in 2010.

Auditors said they could not determine whether there was a correlation between bonus pay and proceeds for education. They found DeFrancisco’s 2008 compensation of $436,000 was second-highest in the nation among lottery executives, behind only Tennessee’s Rebecca Paul Hargrove, who ran Georgia’s lottery before DeFrancisco.





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22 Responses to “Margaret DeFrancisco, Ga. Lottery CEO: $496,776”

  1. More Political BS says:

    These people make darn good salaries and while a bonus of a thousand dollars or less would still make me angry, I could accept it. These bonuses are outrageous, cannot, in my opinion be justified, and the Legislature needs to do something about it.

  2. Jody says:

    Perhaps the lottery is successful – because the CEO decided to pay out a significantly higher percentage of receipts as winnings.
    Still, she is running a lottery NOT a huge corporation with thousands of employees and dozens of divisions; it does not provide manufactured goods or human services; it doesn’t even have the operational complications of a casino.
    It’s really a simple corporation with a huge marketing budget (her people hire their people) and a very straightforward product – paper game cards for money. So a statement that her salary is aligned with other corporations of that size is NOT justifiable.
    The legislature should address this issue, AND the lottery board should be outed. Boards of directors are appointed to look out for each other as much as each others’ companies.

  3. Gail Buckner says:

    When DeFrancisco was questioned by the Senate Economic Development Committee, she responded that she deserved even more money. When will this outrageous waste of money be stopped?

  4. More Political BS says:

    What she deserves is to be booted out the door. They can get someone to do that job for less than her salary and bonuses need to be reasonable and not outrageous. What kind of education does she need to sit at a desk and make decisions on different types of games, etc.? Seniors are getting shoved further and further in the hole and yet they want to tax groceries; gasoline is out of sight; and this broad has a high paying job and wants more? This nonsense has to be brought under control.

  5. PeachPolitics says:

    Looks like you’re a little late on this story… The legislature passed a bill this week that essentially eliminates all lottery employee bonuses.

  6. mike mcgill says:

    This is a freaking crime – GA is so screwed up – and the new bill, from my understanding limits bonuses and does not do away with them – but look at it this situation – these criminals get to name their own bonuses while promoted gambling witch is an addictive disease – what a freaking joke —

  7. Georgia taxpayers says:

    This is the “norm” in our own higher education system. We encourage you to read Jim’s own story at:
    Link to full story above:
    AJC article 10:27 am February 24, 2010, by Aaron Gould Sheinin (in part below):
    Still, (Chancellor) Davis could not immediately answer some questions, such as when Rep. Austin Scott (R-Tifton) asked how many employees of the system have total compensation packages of more than $500,000.

  8. Jim Walls says:

    On the contrary, @PeachPolitics, the Legislature did not eliminate bonuses. It limited the amount of the bonuses by tying them to the increased amount paid into the Lottery for Education fund each year. The bill says nothing about pay that is not defined as a bonus, so the lottery board could raise base salaries as much as it likes. That’s what it did last year, hiking DeFrancisco’s base pay from $286,000 to $353,500 (24 percent). I still have not heard back from the Lottery as to why the bonus pay was not reported to the State Auditor.

  9. Jose says:

    What is the justification for high salaries and bonuses to executives of a corp that has no competition? CEO salaries are usually justified to keep top talent in a market with competitors. This lottery corp would still function the same if the janitorial dept was running it.

    This greed is the downfall of all of us.

  10. Jose says:

    What is the justification for high salaries and bonuses to executives of a corp that has no competition? CEO salaries are usually justified to keep top talent in a market with competitors. This lottery corp would still function the same if the janitorial dept was running it.

  11. Gail Buckner says:

    Check the bill that passed- Don’t believe that it did away with the bonuses, it just simply reduced the size to no more than 25 percent of the salary, so that is still too high.

  12. Tony Gardner says:

    The salaries of all the GA lottery execs are too high and the bonuses are not earned. These guys go to lottery association meetings to compare and copy what other states are doing. They do not create, sell or perform any service worth the money they get. Being close to the flow of lottery money does not mean you caused it to happen or made it to be more than it would have been anyway. The management compensation should have very little that is based on volume of lottery revenue.

  13. Patrick Edmondson says:

    Remember before the lottery when playing numbers was illegal and secretive? People found and played the numbers for lots of cash without any advertising or promotion. I do not believe the lottery needs anything but simple administration since it runs itself. The salaries are just window dressing for well connected folks to do little for high pay. Cut their salaries and see if there are still people applying for the jobs.

  14. Mark Johnson says:

    What surprises me is that everybody is so shocked by the news.

  15. wow says:

    One thing I have learn over these past five decades, if you can write intelligent, it don’t have to be the truth, just as long as you can put it intelligent for readers to read it and your words will make them to believe it.
    Now on this article about the CEO getting payment, well who is this person who gather all this information to make so many of you to be hostile. Simple minded people can so easily be override by intelligent words, but as for me, i am black man, and as you many of you know about us, we don’t really believe or can be tricked by any smooth well put together words unless we are there to see it our self, so reader maybe you need to bring some documents to the table, then maybe the readers want be to sawed to run after” smooth words from every mouth” as for me, i say.. show me the documents mr man.

  16. Eleanor says:

    She has never denied it; the Legislature commented on it at the time; and she isn’t a Princess or a queen. Bonuses should NOT be paid. Especially such big ones.

  17. Rick Oglesby says:

    Just wait and see what the total compensation to these corporate vultures will be with the increased price of the Power Ball Ticket. This is not about money to our educational system, it’s about the continuation of corporate greed for profit.

  18. Eleanor says:

    Nor do they need such high six figure paychecks. Are they truly deserving of that? Seniors are already shoved so far down it is doubtful they can recover. This woman is NOT worth such a high salary nor would anyone else be.

  19. Eleanor says:

    So let her go to silicon valley and work. These salaries are outrageous as well as the bonuses they receive. Pure nonsense and needs to be stopped immediately.

  20. t.n. hooks says:

    i just need to be her for one year,then i will start my business and set my kid up for life. give back lady or get out

  21. Curtis Brooks says:

    i personally think that the Ga lottery system is a crock of mess, they are using the chilren and their education to profit themselves. I visit at lease five different stores each day, and see a great deal of disappiontment on the face of many as they scratch off $20 tickets back to back without winning a single dollar.The stores i visit often hang up winning tickets to encourage others to buy these bogus tickets, little do they know the winning tickets they atre looking at are old one and often shared by mulitple stores. I’m sure if I held a friendly game of poker in my home, my door would be kicked down and everyone there would be arrested. Why are there no arrests in this large poker game (Ga Lottery). At lease in my poker game no one knows the out come, The Ga Lottery all ready knows their winning prior to the tickets being sold…….What a crock of mess, they say that the devil is the god of this system of things, that would make the Ga Lottery the devil’s chief angle. Poeple in this State is some dumb, not plum dumb.

  22. Michael M says:

    I could care less who makes what salary for those who work for the GA Lottery. What I do care about is the Georgia Lottery is scamming millions of dollars from scratch players simply because they do not disclose the entire prize tier for each scratch ticket being sold to an unsuspecting public. Also, every state throughout the southeast does disclose every prize tier for every ticket being sold. Why not Georgia? Visit my blog at for complete information.