Carl Alexoff 1928-2021
HADDONFIELD, N.J. — Carl Alexoff, 93, engineer, lottery pioneer, entrepreneur and Navy veteran, died at home Sunday, Oct. 24, 2021.
Carl was born in Campbell in 1928. Carl’s life embodied the American Dream. A son of immigrants, he graduated from Youngstown College, now Youngstown State University, as a member of its first engineering class in 1950. After receiving his degree in electrical engineering, he enlisted in the Navy and served on the USS Missouri. Following Officer’s Candidate School, he was stationed at Patuxent River Naval Air Station (PAX River) to serve at Electronics Test. He received a Naval academic scholarship to attend MIT, where he received a master’s degree in aeronautical engineering. While in the Navy and working on a classified project, he received his first patent on tracking moving targets from an aircraft. At PAX River, Carl worked with John Glenn as his test engineer at Armaments Test. Carl left PAX River to serve in Washington, D.C. at the Navy’s Bureau of Aeronautics.
Carl always said that after leaving the Navy, he had two careers that involve gambling: getting to the moon and developing the lottery system. After Carl separated from the Navy, he joined RCA’s Aerospace Division (Camden N.J.) in 1960 as a program manager and then became vice president of Sonex Inc. (Philadelphia), working on projects for NASA. He received NASA’s Award of Excellence for his contributions on the Apollo XI moon landing mission and on the Project Ranger unmanned space project that mapped the surface of the moon in search of Apollo landing sites.
Later, during a career at Mathematica (Princeton, N.J.) he played a major role in the introduction and growth of public lotteries in North America as VP of operations and then president of its worldwide lottery business. Mathematica introduced the first technique of using computer algorithms to randomize lottery numbers, a technique that has become the classic design of all lotteries today. During his time at Mathematica, Carl became managing director of Interlot, BV in The Netherlands, where he set up its European production facility. Carl left Mathematica to become founding president of Webcraft Games Inc. (N. Brunswick, N.J.) in 1981. There he led major advancements in instant lottery ticket production, which has become the de facto standard in the industry. Carl holds 10 patents on instant / online lottery design and methods of play. His lottery business career included the start-up of the first 13 state lotteries, as well as operations in 26 states and 11 countries. Working well into his 80s, he finished his career as independent consultant and senior advisor to the gaming industry.
Carl was elected as a full member of Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Honor Society devoted to the promotion of research in science and engineering, and was a licensed professional engineer in N.J. A multi-faceted individual, Carl wrote poetry and enjoyed woodworking, golf and photography. He was a lifelong fan of the Cleveland Indians and a world traveler. Carl was a devoted husband, father and grandfather.
Carl is survived by his wife, Marlene; son, David; and grandchildren, Nikolas and Jessica, and their spouses, Sally and Yair.
A memorial service at Grace Episcopal Church in Haddonfield, N.J. will be scheduled at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to The Carl Alexoff Scholarship Fund, Youngstown State University Foundation, 655 Wick Ave., Youngstown, OH 44502. You can also give online at ysufoundation.org by clicking “Give Now” and putting “Carl Alexoff Scholarship” in the Gift Details box.