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Wednesday, August 15, 2012 - 2:42pm

Lottery Chief Is Leaving

A spokeswoman for the Georgia Lottery Corp. says president and CEO Margaret DeFrancisco will be stepping down.

Tandi Reddick said DeFrancisco notified the lottery's governing board Wednesday that she plans to retire. Reddick said DeFrancisco has not set a departure date. The board named DeFrancisco to the post in 2003.

The announcement comes as the lottery prepares to launch online sales this fall. It also comes a day after the corporation said it had surpassed $50 billion in all-time sales.

Voters approved the lottery in 1993 as a way to pay for HOPE scholarships, pre-kindergarten expansion and other education projects. Last year, lawmakers cut the HOPE scholarship for all but the state's highest performing students.

Lottery sales for the latest fiscal year were $3.8 billion.