Nick Perry, 86, a longtime broadcaster in the Pittsburgh area who was linked to the fixing of the Pennsylvania Lottery’s Daily Number, has died. Perry’s family would not release the date, cause or place of death.
A funeral home in Pittsburgh confirmed the broadcaster’s death.
Perry was raised in Pittsburgh and graduated from Duquesne University with a degree in business administration.
His first broadcasting job was in Charleston, W.Va. He eventually returned to his hometown, where he became a broadcasting celebrity.
Perry was the host of Daily Number on April 24, 1980, when the drawing produced the number “666" for a then-record payout of $3.5 million -- including $1.18 million that went to eight people in on the scam.
After some illegal bookmakers suggested that the drawing had been fixed, a state grand jury charged Perry as the mastermind of a scheme to manipulate the outcome by injecting paint into some of the balls. The paint made all but the “4" and “6" balls too heavy to be pushed up the lottery machine tubes into the winning slots.
Perry, who maintained his innocence, was convicted in 1981 and spent two years in state prison and a year in a halfway house.