Cynthia F. O'Connell was named Secretary of the Florida Lottery by Governor Rick Scott on February 9, 2011. Secretary O'Connell has an extensive background in the public and private sector including strategic planning at universities and financial institutions. She returned to the Florida Lottery after previously leading the agency's efforts to implement instant and Terminal games shortly after its creation.
Secretary O'Connell is focused on ensuring that "sound business principles" continue to guide the Florida Lottery and maintain it as one of the most successful lotteries in the country, while modernizing the 25-year-old brand to ensure long-term viability. In addition, she is committed to continuing the Florida Lottery's mission of generating as much additional funds as possible for Florida's education system.
To commemorate the agency's 25th anniversary, Secretary O'Connell launched the "Year of the Flamingo" in 2012, a comprehensive series of of promotions and events leading to the unveiling of the "reimagined" Florida Lottery brand including a new logo, improved website, new partnerships and promotions, along with interactive community events across the state.
In Fiscal Year 2012-13, under Secretary O'Connell's leadership, Florida Lottery sales reached $5 billion, the highest level in the organization's nearly quarter century of existence, resulting in an all-time record for contributions to education by transferring $1.41 billion to Florida's Education Enhancement Trust Fund (EETF).
A graduate of Florida State University, Secretary O'Connell's undergraduate studies were centered in the fields of Communications and Journalism. She holds a Certificate in post-graduate financial services marketing from the School of Banking at Louisiana State University and is an Honorary Alumnus of the University of Florida as well as a member of Florida Blue Key, the University of Florida honorary leadership society.