by: Jodie Fleischer Updated:
ATLANTA - In a Channel 2 Action News
Investigation, state Senator Chip Rogers said his connection to the sports gambling industry only went so far as playing a character on a TV show.
Now, new documents have surfaced indicating he also used that name in his own private business dealings.
Channel 2's investigative
reporter, Jodie Fleischer, interviewed Rogers in May about his life before he became a legislator.
In that interview he distanced himself from the name
"Will Rogers," and "Will 'The Winner' Rogers."
He said then he never used those names except as his hired TV character, but now there is evidence that he did.
The announcer on a 1999 video told the audience Will Rogers, now known to Georgians as Senate Majority Leader Chip Rogers, hand-picked game winners for viewers and callers to bet on.
"The company who hired me, gave me a script and I would read from the script," Rogers told Fleischer in May.
The name was so popular, it landed on an NCAA website warning of sports handicappers, reminding staff they
"shall not knowingly provide information to individuals involved in organized gambling activities."
Rogers claimed he was not the "Will Rogers, sports handicapper" who authored this web article,
saying, "My money, Oasis Sportsbook is the place to call."
The TV show he was on was sponsored by the same casino.
"Who created Will 'The Winner' Rogers?" Fleischer asked Rogers.
"The company who hired me," Rogers replied.
Rogers' given name is William Rogers.
"My name from birth until now is Chip Rogers and everybody that has ever known me knows me by that," Rogers told Fleischer back in May. "They said that
'Well, you know, here's a common name that it seems like people like, has a positive spin to it,' so that was the name that I used. And I mean it's their name, it's not really mine."
But when Rogers purchased a radio station in Cartersville, he used the email address WillRogers@hotmail.com on the FCC application.
And when he registered the domain for the station website, in the name of his own company, Rogers Communications, his email address was Will the Winner.
A representative for Rogers said he used the Will Rogers email because he wanted it to more closely resemble his legal name on his FCC application.
As for the Will 'The Winner' address, he said that was an old account Rogers used while he played that character and wanted any spam or junk mail to go there because he didn't really use it.