Lotto Shuts Down 'Fun 5' Game Because People Got Upset When They Found Out They Lost

Fun 5 tickets are still floating around Houston...and we found some.
A batch of Texas Lotto scratch-offs have become a major source of contention for frustrated lotto players, who say the language on Fun 5 is misleading. And for that confusion, they say they're owed millions.

The controversy revolving around Fun 5 is limited to one specific game on the card -- Game 5 -- which gives players the following instructions for identifying a winning ticket:

Reveal three "5" symbols in any one row, column or diagonal, win PRIZE in PRIZE box. Reveal a Money Bag symbol in the 5X BOX, win 5 times that PRIZE.

Most people would think these two-sentence instructions are pretty darn simple and should be interpreted as scratch Game 5, reveal three fives in a row and win a prize. Scratch Game 5, reveal three fives in a row and a money bag, and well, you're rolling in five times the cash.

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Hearst Drops an Ebola Joke

Categories: Whatever

Check out this gut-buster from the San Antonio Express-News

For the past couple weeks, even we've been like, you know what, maybe let's not joke about Ebola just yet...

Apparently Hearst feels differently.

HSPCA and Prosecutors Won't Say How Rescued Dog Died

Categories: Whatever

Courtesy Susan Culver
Is Bella alive or dead? The HSPCA won't say, and we can't imagine why.
The Houston SPCA and Galveston County District Attorney's Office are not revealing the fate of a dog whose former foster believes overheated and died during a highly publicized seizure in Santa Fe last month.

Susan Culver says the dog's death was disclosed at a September court hearing to decide what to do with more than 100 dogs, turtles, and snakes recovered from a home belonging to Joe Granata. However, Culver says HSPCA personnel would not say how the plott hound mix named Bella died -- only that she was not euthanized. The Galveston County Sheriff's Office's seizure inventory listed Bella as being in good condition.

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Why Moving Pride out of Montrose Is a Big Deal

Photo by Julian Bajsel
Social media went haywire last week when Pride Houston announced that next year's Houston LGBT Pride Celebration will take place downtown, leaving its Montrose home of more than three decades.

Many were shocked because they weren't told this was happening ahead of time. And while there have been grumblings for years that Pride might have outgrown the Montrose, very few people appear to have known that this would be the year Pride Houston finally pulls the trigger and relocates.

On Facebook, people posted photos of old "PomPom" shirts ("People Opposed to Moving Pride out of Montrose"). JD Doyle, a grand marshal in last year's parade, wrote: "As the Pride Committee did not solicit community input regarding the decision, it is extremely difficult for us to make a reason judgment on it. Knowing how controversial this would be, they took that from us."

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Lessons Learned From Open Carry, the Children's Book

Categories: Whatever

The cover!

There are a lot of things to love about the whole open carry movement. For one thing, the fervent belief that firearms should be carried by all people at all times has translated to some, shall we say, interesting moments in daily life.

Open carry proponents have showed up at restaurants and stores and on street corners to tote their weapons in public, all while wearing smiles and acting as friendly as Ned Flanders. Yes, the movement has also led to some awkward incidents like the time Open Carry Texas members planned to march through the Fifth Ward, which would have translated, at least optics-wise, to a bunch of white guys with guns marching through a historically black neighborhood. Then there were the times that Target and Chili's and Starbucks and Chipotle asked those who openly carry their weapons to please refrain from doing so in their stores.

But the thing that is most striking about the open carry folks is how much they don't care what people think, how convinced they are that their way is the right way and that those not comfortable with their guns are just "uninformed." Nowhere is this narrow-as-a-gun-barrel on view of the world as prominently on display as in the children's book, My Parents Open Carry: An Open Carry Adventure.

The book, written by a couple of guys from Open Carry Michigan, is probably going to go down in the annals of literary history alongside Ted Cruz, the coloring book, and all the other children's books ever concocted as another way of advancing political arguments at a truly grass roots level. It's great because the authors of My Parents Open Carry don't give a dang what anyone thinks, which sure makes for some entertaining reading. They even put blurbs of praise from both Glenn Beck AND Stephen Colbert on the back of their book.

So let's go over some of the life lessons contained in the pages of My Parents Open Carry.

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PETA Asks for Roadside Tombstone to Honor Dead Chickens

Categories: Whatever

Passing a roadside memorial down a barren stretch of road can be a brief, somber reminder of how fragile life is. How in an instant, a distracted or drunk driver can take away someone's mother, father, or daughter forever.

Naturally, the folks at PETA want you remember the dead chickens.

Among other sounds-like-an-Onion-story news from yesterday (like this Houston-based fracking company making pink drill bits to remind people about cancer), we learned that PETA has asked the Texas Department of Transportation for approval to erect a roadside tombstone honoring chickens that died when an 18-wheeler overturned in Bryan last month.

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Jordy Tollett, Former "Mister Downtown," Is Again in Jail Because of Booze

Categories: Crime, Whatever

Nassau Bay PD
Gerard "Jordy" Tollett, after his March 4, 2012 arrest
Once a political wheeler-dealer and head of the Greater Houston Convention and Visitors Bureau, Gerard Jay "Jordy" Tollett is again in jail because of alcohol.

Records show Tollett, now Pasadena Convention Center general manager, was arrested for drunk driving in Nassau Bay on March 4, 2012. Tollett immediately appealed when months later a jury found him guilty of DWI-2nd and handed him a 180-day jail sentence and a $2,000 fine. As a condition of his bond to keep him out of jail while on appeal, a Harris County judge ordered the former "Mister Downtown" to stay away from booze, to pay the county's community supervision and corrections department a $60 per-month fee, and to submit to regular drug and alcohol testing.

Violation reports filed in court show Tollett didn't pay those fines. He also didn't stay away from booze; an ignition interlock device the judge ordered installed on Tollett's car continued to show alcohol on Tollett's breath.

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Another Heights-Area Cat Killing -- and a $10,000 Reward

Categories: Whatever

This has to stop. Now.
This is getting really out of hand: A Lazybrook woman has reported another cat mutilation, which was discovered -- but somehow overlooked -- shortly before another incident on September 20.

The woman says she found the leg, ear, and nose "of what would have been a small sized black cat," placed 2-3 inches apart, on her lawn Sept. 18 or Sept. 19, according to Jennifer Estopinal, a Lazybrook resident who has been cataloging the crimes. We're up to 24 incidents since 2008, by Estopinal's count.

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The Chron Takes a Coffee Break

Sad, sad day at the Chron
Times is hard in the world of journalism. On the heels of the New York Times announcing that it will cut 100 jobs from its newsroom, we bring you some sad news out of the Houston Chronicle today: the daily's newsroom has run out of coffee.

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UPDATED America Family Law Center's "Legal Aid" for Low-Income Folks Is Sorta Expensive

Categories: Whatever

Screenshot from
There are different ways to interpret "volunteer"....
Update: We were awaiting comment from attorney Peter Bergman, who is the lawyer mentioned in McDermott's letter, but not named in the original post. Bergman told us Tuesday morning that he could not recall if he ever met with the woman from McDermott's letter, but would get back to us once he checked his records. We have not heard back.

We've been at it for a little while, and we still can't figure out what kind of business is being run out of suite 609 at 1314 Texas Street and what services their low-income clientele are getting for the hundreds they fork over. And we think that's the idea.

The office contains multitudes: Organizations operating there include "America Family Law Center," "Texas Volunteer Attorneys," "Fathers For Equal Rights," and "Children First Always." Ostensibly, they all offer access to family court attorneys and ill-defined "resources." But first, you must buy a membership, which isn't disclosed in any of the advertisements we've seen. And things just get weirder from there.

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