(Harrisburg) - Gus, the popular spokesrodent for the Pennsylvania Lottery, admitted himself into a Gambling Addiction Recovery Center yesterday. Pennsylvania Lottery Chairman Albert Gerthoffer confirmed that Gus has asked for, and received, a temporary leave of absence from his duties so that he “can get his life together.” The request was made after a weekend altercation between Gus and a convenience store clerk on North Front Street.

According to the clerk, Gus became agitated when the “Scratch and Win” tickets he was purchasing failed to yield even a single prize. The clerk, who would not give his name, estimated that Gus spent between three and four thousand dollars in the store over several hours. “He kept muttering ‘keep on scratchin, got to keep on scratchin’ and every time he came up with a big zero, he started swearing a blue streak. I finally told him I was going to call the police, and he lunged at my throat.”

The clerk said he sustained minor puncture wounds on his hand, which he raised to shield himself from the groundhog’s teeth. He was taken to the Dwyer Medical Center for treatment, and was later released. Mr. Gerthoffer spoke to reporters in his Capitol office last evening. “Our prayers go out to Gus and his family,” he said. “I know that all citizens of this Commonwealth join me in hoping that Gus gets the help he needs and is back on duty working for the lottery soon.” Mr. Gerthoffer added that proceeds from the Pennsylvania lottery benefit senior citizens.