LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Longtime Kentucky Lottery President and CEO Arch Gleason passed away Friday due to injuries sustained in a recent fall at a family member's home in Cincinnati.
A news release from the Kentucky Lottery said Gleason spent nearly 23 years as its leader, taking the helm of the organization in just its fourth year of existence. He served under five governors and was the longest serving lottery director in the United States.
Gleason announced his retirement from the organization less than a month ago. At that time, he said, “The Kentucky Lottery has generated billions of dollars for Kentucky education, with a record $236.1 million contribution in 2015. Over the years, we’ve built one of the most successful lotteries in the country, a powerful economic engine for our state which will run for years to come. I’m so proud of our efforts.”
Prior to joining the Kentucky Lottery Corporation in September 1993, Gleason served two separate terms as director of the West Virginia Lottery. He is also a former secretary of the West Virginia Department of Transportation.
“Arch leaves behind an amazing legacy,” said Kentucky Lottery Board Chair June Hudson in a news release. “He took such great pride in the Kentucky kids that went to college using more than $2.5 billion in scholarships and grants during his tenure. He would often relate stories of young people he met and how gratifying it was to hear how education had helped shape their future.”
Hudson added that Gleason refused to get an unlisted home telephone number, just in case a player wanted to call him with a question or concern.
“I don’t think you’d find many CEOs of a nearly $1 billion-a-year company who would do that. But that was Arch,” Hudson said.
Gleason is survived by his wife of nearly 48 years, Annie, four children and seven grandchildren. His funeral will be Saturday at Epiphany Catholic Church, with visitation Friday at Highlands Funeral Home.