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Major Peter J. O’Connell

Lottery Industry

Lifetime Achievement Award


Interim Executive Director,

D.C. Lottery and Charitable

Games Control Board

In April 2015, Tracey Cohen was ap-

pointed as the Interim Executive Direc-

tor of the D.C. Lottery. Rated among

the top ten lotteries in the nation, Trac-

ey oversees a $220 million enterprise.

The post of Interim Executive Director,

marked the latest achievement in a dec-

orated lottery career that has spanned

over 15 years. Prior to this appointment,

she served as the agency’s Chief Operat-

ing Officer beginning in 2011. In that

first year, the agency saw record-break-

ing instant ticket sales, launched its

first-ever million-dollar DC Scratcher,

and welcomed Mega Millions—the

nation’s biggest jackpot game—to its

product line, contributing another $1.2

million in revenue. Other achievements

include launching the Lucky Lottery

Mobile and the opening of the Official

DC Lottery Store at Union Station, the

first of its kind in a major transporta-

tion and retail hub within the United


Executive Director,

New Jersey Lottery

Carole Hedinger began her lottery ca-

reer as deputy director of the New Jersey

Lottery in 1994.  She became acting di-

rector in 2003, serving for a year before

moving to the position of chief clerk

at the Ocean County Surrogate Court

in 2004.  Ms. Hedinger served in that

capacity for the next six years, where

she was responsible for overseeing the

court’s guardianship and estate account-

ing efforts, creating and implementing a

comprehensive array of tracking systems

and audit procedures to ensure the in-

tegrity of the court’s operations.  

Ms. Hedinger was appointed by Gov-

ernor Chris Christie to lead the New

Jersey Lottery in June of 2010.  She

brought three decades of experience as

a Certified Public Accountant to her

new role as Executive Director at New

Jersey Lottery. Charged with shaping

the future of the Lottery, in FY 2016

the New Jersey Lottery topped $3.2 bil-

lion (unaudited) in sales, and more than


Director, Delaware State Lottery

Vernon Kirk joined the start-up

staff of the Delaware State Lottery

in 1975 and subsequently served in

a variety of marketing, financial and

administrative positions. He was ap-

pointed Director of the Lottery in

October 2011. Kirk has received the

Delaware Award for Excellence in

State Service from Delaware’s current

Governor, Jack Markell, and has been

cited by both chambers of the Dela-

ware General Assembly for his leader-

ship during the development and suc-

cessful implementations of the State’s

enterprises in sports betting and table

games at Delaware’s three racinos.

During Kirk’s tenure to date as Di-

rector, the Lottery has continued its

long standing tradition of innovation.

Delaware’s sports betting product was

expanded from the racinos to include

brick and mortar retailers, which were

licensed and trained in time to be-

gin selling for the 2012 pro-football

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