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The Scoop

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Verbatim: Indianapolis man named lottery host

The Hoosier Lottery issued this news release tonight:

INDIANAPOLIS (Aug. 16, 2013) -- When Hoosier Lottery live ball drawings return to the air this fall, a fresh Hoosier face will be a part of the draw team. The winner of the Hometown Host Contest is Chayzee Smith of Indianapolis. Smith will join Hoosier Lottery's draw team as a host of the Daily 3 and Daily 4 live ball drawings beginning in September on select television stations around the state.

"This has been an awesome experience," said Smith. "It feels great knowing I can create memories for Hoosiers out there watching the drawings. I remember watching the numbers get drawn on TV way back when and I'm excited to be able to connect with Hoosiers like that."

The public was invited to vote online at hoosierlottery.com and FOX59.com for their favorite host or hostess, narrowing the list to five finalists who then auditioned live this evening at the Indiana State Fair before a panel of local celebrity judges.

The competition was stiff, but ultimately the judges, Hank FM's J.D. Cannon, FOX59's Sherman Burdette and Indiana State Fire Marshall Jim Greeson chose Smith as the winner of the Hoosier Lottery's Hometown Host Contest!

Chayzee (pronounced "Shazay") Smith was born and raised in Indianapolis. A huge Colts and Pacers fan, Smith says he bleeds Colts blue and has gold Pacers swagger. Smith is a Ball State University graduate with a Masters in Clinical Psychology who works as a clinical mental health therapist, a job he finds rewarding because it affords him an opportunity to "work with youth and their families in a positive way to bring about impactful change."

"Now that we have a Hometown Host winner, the Lottery is one step closer to getting the drawings back on the air and into Hoosier living rooms from Angola to Evansville," said Jessica Powell, vice president for marketing at the Hoosier Lottery. "Hoosiers overwhelmingly want to see the drawings televised."

Currently, Powerball drawings air Wednesday and Saturday nights at 10:59 p.m. (Eastern) Mega Millions drawings air Tuesday and Friday nights at 11 p.m. (Eastern.) Drawings for both games currently air on FOX59 in Central Indiana, WNDU in South Bend, WFFT Local in Fort Wayne, WTVW Local 7 in Evansville and WTWO NBC 2 in Terre Haute.

Daily 3 and Daily 4 drawings will begin airing on the same stations this fall.

The five finalists were Heather Cruise of Fort Wayne, Robin La'Toya of Gary, Lisa Wright Minter of Indianapolis, Chayzee Smith of Indianapolis and Jennifer Wilkens of Anderson.

The Hoosier Lottery reminds all players to play responsibly. Must be 18 or older to play. Gambling Addiction Referral Line: 800-994-8448.

ABOUT THE HOOSIER LOTTERY: Hoosier Lottery distributions benefit every county throughout Indiana. Each fiscal year, the Hoosier Lottery contributes $30 million to Police and Firefighters' Pensions, and $30 million to the Teacher's Retirement Fund. The remainder of Lottery income is contributed to the State and helps reduce excise taxes by 50 percent for every Hoosier vehicle owner.

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