Wednesday, August 21, 2013


CONTACT: David Workman

(208) 334-2600


In Memoriam: Idaho Lottery Commission Chairman and Business Entrepreneur Roger Jones Dies


BOISE, Idaho – The Idaho Lottery lost its longest tenured Commissioner yesterday when Roger Jones passed away at his home in the vineyards of Carmela Winery in Glenns Ferry, Idaho. He was 75. Roger served on the Idaho Lottery Commission since March of 1995 and had been Chairman since November of 2003.


“I have lost a friend, the Idaho Lottery has lost one of its strongest advocates, and Idaho has lost a unique personal treasure with the passing of Roger Jones,” said Jeff Anderson, Idaho Lottery Director. “His leadership was exemplary and he was the embodiment of the true Idaho pioneering spirit.”

Roger Jones was a true innovator in Idaho, and one of the State’s original potato barons, as he advanced the technology for dried potato-flake processing. He eventually worked with Proctor & Gamble to create Pringles Potato Chips. In recent years, Roger was the proprietor of Carmela Vineyards and Winery in Glenns Ferry. A graduate of the University of Idaho, Roger was one of the school’s most dedicated Vandal supporters.


“’One of a kind’ is a term that is used too often these days but in Roger´s case it fits,” said fellow Idaho Lottery Commissioner David Keyes of Sandpoint, Idaho. “Idaho lost one of its biggest boosters yesterday. He was all about Idaho and talked about Idaho to anyone who would listen. He made friends faster than anyone I have known. Roger never missed a chance to strike up a conversation and nearly every conversation turned into something to do with his home state, potatoes, the Idaho Lottery, wine, or his beloved Vandals.”


During his tenure as an Idaho Lottery Commissioner and later as Chairman, Roger watched the Lottery grow from its infancy and helped nurture its development into full maturity. In 1995, Idaho Lottery sales were $87.9 million with a dividend of $19 million returned to Idahoans. Just a month ago, Jones and the Idaho Lottery Commission returned a dividend of $48.2 million on the strength of $197.6 million in sales. During his time on the Commission, Roger led a group that returned over $522 million in Lottery dividends to the people of Idaho for the benefit of public schools and the State of Idaho’s Permanent Building Fund.


“Roger was a good and decent man, a business leader, a community leader, and a dedicated public servant,” said Idaho Lottery Commissioner Mel Fisher of Boise. “He put in the time and effort to make enterprises successful. He was inclusive in his processes and always made everyone feel welcomed wherever he was. He will be sorely missed by me, the Idaho Lottery and Idaho.”


“Words can´t express the character of Roger Jones.  There has been no better face or representative of the Idaho Lottery than Roger,” said Commissioner Jim Rehder of Cottonwood. “I have known Roger for almost two years and it seems like I have known him forever.  He was a fine gentleman, businessman, and a great chairman of the Idaho Lottery.  I share with many in our state and around the globe, the grief of Roger´s sudden passing.”


“Roger was a wealth of knowledge not just about the Lottery, but about Idaho as a whole,” said Commissioner Craig Corbett of Grace. “He was invaluable not just to the Lottery, but to the entire State. His quality and character is not something you replace.”


Services for Roger Jones will be held:


Monday, August 26, 2013

10 a.m.

Methodist Church

605 H Street

Rupert, Idaho


Gathering to follow the same day at:

Carmela Vineyards

4 p.m.

1289 West Madison

Glenns Ferry, Idaho




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The Idaho Lottery responsibly provides a variety of entertaining games featuring Powerball, Mega Millions, Scratch GamesTM, and PullTabs with a high degree of integrity to maximize the dividend for Idaho public schools and the permanent building fund. Since their inception in 1989, the Idaho Lottery has sold over $2.5 billion in products, awarded over $1.5 billion in prizes to players, returned more than $148.2 million in retail commissions, and distributed $600.5 million in Lottery dividends to Idaho public schools and the Permanent Building Fund. To learn more, please visit