Akron parents wait for Firestone Park Youth Baseball lottery drawing payoffs

Parents claim leauge president stopped responding

AKRON, Ohio - Mark and Kristen Hodas of Akron where proud to have both their daughter and their son involved in the Firestone Youth Baseball League this past summer, but report a small problem dampened their spirits just a bit.

Mark Hodas contacted NewsChannel5 after waiting more than four months for two $50 payoffs on two winning youth baseball lottery drawing tickets he sold back in May.

The tickets were sold as part of a Firestone Youth Baseball League fundraiser.  Ticket holders who had tickets that matched the Ohio Lottery Pick 3 drawing were to win $50, but Hodas told 5 On Your Side that didn't happen.

Hodas claims a relative and a family friend, purchased winning tickets, but repeated calls and text messages to the league president produced no winnings.

"We're not even getting responses anymore, phones aren't being picked up, text messages aren't being responded," Hodas said.

"I'm losing the respect of my friends and my family who are asking me, 'Hey where's this money that you owe me?'"  

Kristen Hodas is wondering if there are other Firestone Youth Baseball parents who are also waiting for fundraiser payouts and she questions if all the money raised went to benefit the league.

"They saw their number come up on the lottery, they knew they won and then they just keep asking me when," Hodas said. "We'd call and get answers, and they'd say this week, it's coming this week. And then they just stop returning our calls and text messages and everything."

"I want to know how many people actually won and if anyone was paid out. How many kids did this? My kids played, they're little, they played tee-ball. What about the older kids who participated. There were a lot of kids who participated in this lottery."

NewsChannel5 contacted the Firestone Youth Baseball League President, a league that is not affiliated with the City of Akron.

The president responded immediately and told NewsChannel5 there was a mix-up on some of the address listed on the lottery ticket stubs.

The president, who didn't want to be identified, apologized for the long delay on the lottery fundraising payoffs, and assured NewsChannel5 all payouts would be sent by Oct. 16.

"We just didn't have the right addresses," said the league president. "All funds raised went directly to the baseball league, it was simply a tough financial year for us."

Meanwhile, Mark Hodas was stunned by this development. 

"Why weren't we told months earlier there was a problem with addresses on the tickets?" Hodas said. "I'm pleased to hear the funds are on the way, they'll likely be donated back to league anyway."

NewsChannel5 and newsnet5.com will continue to follow-up on this developing story.

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