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Nick Perry
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TV Personality
    (1916-April 22, 2003)
    Born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
    Birth name was Nicholas Pericles Katsafanas
    News and weather reporter for WTAE-TV in Pittsburgh
    Hosted 'Bowling for Dollars' and 'Championship Bowling'
    Hosted nightly broadcasts of the Pennsylvania Lottery drawing
    Helped rig the Daily Number drawing (April 24, 1980)
    Convicted of criminal conspiracy, criminal mischief, theft by deception, rigging a publicly exhibited contest, and perjury (1981)
    Served two years in state prison and a year in a halfway house
    With the help of two stagehands, he had all the lottery balls except 4 and 6 injected with small amounts of paint, so they would rise off the bottom of the machines used in the drawing, but not rise high enough to be sucked into the vacuum tube that drew the numbers.
    The winning number was 6-6-6. (Was someone making an editorial comment to the conspirators?)
    Lottery officials became suspicious of a fix because of the unusually large number of lottery tickets bought using the eight possible combinations of 4 and 6.
    The scandal inspired the flop John Travolta movie 'Lucky Numbers' (2000).
    According to a fellow WTAE reporter, 'He was just about as dapper a dresser as I had seen.'
    Most of the $1.8 million paid out to the conspirators was recovered.
    The scandal inspired the lotteries of Pennsylvania and other states to take greater precautions against rigging.
    His family claimed he was a scapegoat, with the state manufacturing a high-profile case against a local celeb to distract media attention from the fact that a lottery official (Edward Plevel) had participated in the fix.

Credit: C. Fishel

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