Director of Ohio Lottery resigns suddenly; interim appointed

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) – The director of Ohio’s $4 billion state lottery resigned suddenly Wednesday, informing Republican Gov. Mike DeWine that he was retiring due to undisclosed medical reasons.

DeWine spokesperson Dan Tierney said Pat McDonald’s resignation was effective immediately. The governor appointed Michelle Gillcrist, his aerospace and defense liaison and northeast Ohio regional liaison, to the job on an interim basis.

McDonald had been a fixture at the Ohio Lottery for 16 years, serving first as a member and long-time chair of the Ohio Lottery Commission before DeWine appointed him director in 2019.

He broke the news in a two-sentence email to DeWine’s chief of staff, Stephanie McCloud: “This is to notify you that I am retiring from my position of Director of the State of Ohio Lottery Commission effective today, April 12, 2023, due to medical reasons. It has been a pleasure to serve the people of Ohio.”

McDonald’s departure comes at a busy time for the Ohio Lottery. The office is positioning to rebid its lucrative central gaming system contract, worth more than $90 million every two years, and working to settle a long-running stalemate over establishing internet-based lottery gaming, or iLottery, in the state.

He formerly held positions as elections director for Cuyahoga County and with the Ohio secretary of state, Ohio treasurer and as an assistant director of the Ohio Department of Commerce.

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