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I see Douglas County's Consumer Protection Unit has deemed Game Nut's PlayStation 3 drawing as an illegal lottery, because it was limited to paying customers. How is the drawing at Checkers - offering the winner $100 in free groceries each month for a year - in exchange for donations to the Lawrence Memorial Hospital's capital campaign any different?

There's a big difference, said Mike Smith, store director: The Checkers contest, which started a week ago, is open to anyone, regardless of whether a donation is made. The contest simply is designed to encourage donations, he said, and doesn't require them. Anyone with questions about illegal lotteries or other consumer issues may call the unit's Consumer Protection Hotline at 330-2849.

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