Saturday, January 10, 2009

Irony 101: Alec Ahsoak, Winner Of Alaska's $500,000 Lottery To Benefit Standing Together Against Rape (STAR), Is A Registered Sex Offender

Update January 13th: Many more details about Alec Ahsoak's life, and a local poll about whether he should be allowed to keep his lottery winnings. Updated post HERE.

Update late January 13th: Alec Ahsoak physically attacked by unidentified assailant at Fifth Avenue Mall in Anchorage. Ahsoak hospitalized with serious but non-life threatening injuries. Vigilantiism suspected. Updated post HERE.

Here's some incredible irony. The winner of Alaska's recent $500,000 lottery, arranged to help raise money for Standing Together Against Rape (STAR), is himself a registered sex offender, according to the Anchorage Daily News and KTUU Channel 2 (with video). Also picked up by The Moderate Voice.

Lottery organizer Abe Spicola, who owns the Lucky Times Pull Tabs off Spenard Road in Anchorage, disclosed on January 10th, 2008 that 53-year-old Alec Ahsoak (pictured above left courtesy of the Alaska Sex Offender Registry) came forward to claim his winnings. According to Spicola, Ahsoak, who currently works for Arctic Slope Regional Corporation, was planning to use the winnings to buy a house, pay tithing to God, and donate a part of it to charity.

After it was revealed that Ahsoak was on the state's sex offender registry for his 1993 conviction on two counts of sexual abuse of a minor and another conviction of the same crime in 2000, Spicola then called Ahsoak back and suggested that if he was going to donate to a charity, he should consider STAR. In response, Ahsoak told Spicola that he would donate $100,000 to STAR.

Lotteries are legal in Alaska if a percentage of the ticket sales go to a non-profit organization. A percentage of the ticket sales from this lottery go to STAR, which organized the event along with Spicola. So far there's been no official reaction from STAR.

During the August 2008 primary election, Alaskans rejected a proposed gambling initiative, Ballot Measure One, not so much because they were against gambling, but because the ballot measure would have allowed the creation of a commission which could regulate gambling without any legislative or public input. Leading the charge against the measure was Jim Minnery of the Alaska Family Council. However, Alaskans are more favorably disposed towards a lottery. In a KTUU Channel 2 "unscientific" poll conducted on December 29th, 72 percent of respondents said that Alaska should institute a state lottery.

Meanwhile, another lottery is being organized for July, and Lucky Times plans to begin selling tickets for it by the end of January. Tickets for the just-concluded lottery were $5 each; the prices for the next lottery have not yet been disclosed.

The idea of sex offenders winning lotteries and being allowed to keep their winnings has generated robust debate around the country. In June 2008, Fred Topous Jr. won $57 million in the Michigan lottery. Many people objected to him being allowed to keep his winnings while his victims continue to suffer with their memories. However, the victims of robberies and burglaries also suffer from their memories as well, but there's no similar outcry for them.

Alaska does not bar Ahsoak from keeping his winnings.


  1. At least it shows the lottery was not rigged.

  2. This is true. I can understand why some people would object to this guy hitting the jackpot, but for heaven's sake, we need to show some mercy. This societal pogrom against sex offenders has got to be relaxed somewhat. What incentive do they have to even try to recover if we condemn them to permanent second-class citizenship?

  3. Show some mercy to those that sexually abuse kids, huh?
    And the abusers never recover they just whine a lot...kind of like you are doing.


  4. Valkyrie - even if they never recover, it doesn't necessarily mean they all re-offend. Justice without mercy is tyranny.

  5. Show mercy? Why don't you ask him if he showed mercy to those he offended? I agree that he shouldn't be forced to second class citizenship for his bad choices...but this is just giving him tools for his bad takes more than a year to "turn your life around" from these kind of actions. Anchorage Activist...clearly you have never been affected by these kinds of people. Of course he'll re-offend...he spent a few years in prison after the first one and as soon as he got out he managed to go straight back for the same offense. One year of no incident doesn't make him "recovered".

  6. i mean if he is kind that what about a internetmilkshop for children too so nonsense crimes about children has reasons i mean the fact is children are kind

  7. It doesn't matter if it's a first time offense. Once is one too many. They touch one child and a public hanging is needed.
    Or I could show them (he/she) "mercy" by a bullet to the back of the head. Merciful enough for you?