Scratch Off Tickets Arrive
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Arkansas Lottery - News
Written by MyArkansasLottery   
Sunday, 04 October 2009 22:16

Scratch Off Lottery Tickets Land in Arkansas

It turns out $48 million in lottery tickets doesn't look as impressive as it sounds.

Shrink-wrapped pallets arrived by tractor-trailer Monday to a warehouse in southwest Little Rock, a first shipment of about 30 million scratch-off tickets destined to inaugurate the start of Arkansas' state lottery.

Lottery officials dolled up the event for reporters, with two police cruisers and a motorcycle blaring sirens as a semi-truck decorated with balloons and streamers, like a homecoming parade float, pulled up. Still, once drivers pulled away a banner from Trailer No. 53958 of Feplo Trucking, only 18 bland brown pallets greeted onlookers.

State lottery director Ernie Passailaigue offered a different take.

"You can see the hopes, dreams and ambitions of our youngsters right here," Passailaigue said in the bare-walled warehouse with empty racks awaiting the tickets. "You'll see thousands of young Arkansans going to school with scholarship aid from the lottery."

First, though, comes the sale. About 1,500 locations across the state — many convenience stores and gas stations — have applied to sell the four types of scratch-offs that will start the lottery. Those tickets include $2 games called "Arkansas Riches" and "Jumbo Bucks," a $5 ticket called "$100,000 Cash Bonus" and a $1 game called "3 Times Lucky" — which represented the first pallet pulled off the trucks.

Each retailer will get $10,000 worth of tickets for the start of the lottery, delivered by UPS to each location from the Little Rock warehouse, Passailaigue said. Vendors will be resupplied depending on how many tickets they sell.

The tickets will be on sale beginning "a second after midnight" on Sept. 28, Passailaigue said. Lottery commission estimates put as much of 30 percent of the net proceeds toward college scholarships. About 60 percent will go to players, with top prizes ranging from $3,000 to $100,000. Another 6 percent will go to retailers. Manufacturer Scientific Games of Alpharetta, Ga., receives 1.75 percent, and the rest covers administrative and advertising costs, Passailaigue said.

Passailaigue declined to offer any estimate on how many tickets will be sold the first night, but the ad agency for the lottery hopes to create an "adult version of a Harry Potter book release."

Nearly two-thirds of voters supported a constitutional amendment in the November election to allow the games. Since that time, the lottery commission drew criticism for six-figure salaries awarded to top officials and a bidding process for work that left some companies upset. Others warned the games would prey on the poor or those hoping for a big win against sizable odds.

Still, the commission has progressed from startup meetings in May to having tickets on the ground five months later. Now, only two weeks separate Arkansans from using dimes and fingernails to dig away at the state's first lottery tickets.

That wasn't lost on at least one commission staffer. As the sirens faded and the truck came to a halt, she leaned over to Passailaigue and said, "That gave me chill bumps, Ernie."

Last Updated on Friday, 08 January 2010 01:53
First Day of the Arkansas Lottery
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Arkansas Lottery - News
Written by MyArkansasLottery   
Sunday, 04 October 2009 22:14

First Day of Arkansas Lottery Sales Explode

By midmorning Monday, Arkansas' new lottery had produced a $500 winner in Baxter County from a scratch-off ticket sold at Benny's Country Store, 6227 State Hwy. 5 N., and an unknown amount for college scholarships.

Several retailers who sell lottery tickets here reported brisk and sometimes "crazy" ticket sales Monday — the first day of the state's new lottery with proceeds dedicated for college scholarships.

Drew Long, owner of Benny's Country Store, said a customer purchased the $500-winning ticket about an hour after tickets went on sale at 9 a.m. Long said ticket sales totaled about $175 by 3 p.m. for the tickets in denominations of $1, $2 and $5.

Jeri Deardoff, manager of EZ Mart at 913 Ninth St., said the station sold tickets totaling $1,200 by 3 p.m. and paid out about $400 in winnings.

"It's crazy," Deardoff said. "Between 2 and 3 (p.m.) we sold $350 worth."

At Warehouse Liquor, 2471 U.S. Hwy. 62 E., the store had paid out $250 on ticket sales totaling $350 by 2:30 p.m. Store manager Joe Huerd said the business of selling the scratch-off tickets was going smoothly Monday and lottery players who had been taking their business to Missouri retailers were happy to stay home and play.

"I'm seeing a lot of new faces, and they're happy," said Huerd. "They don't have to run to the county line any more."

Huerd said the ratio of lottery players who scratch their tickets before leaving the store versus the ones who leave, scratch and return for their winnings is about equal.

"Let the people scratch," said Huerd. "It was time for the state to do this."

Cassandra Simmons, owner of Mid Town Liquor, 611 U.S. Hwy. 62 E., said the store had sold tickets totaling $500 by 2:30 p.m. and paid out about $150 in winnings. The store received some telephone calls leading up to the opening day for lottery ticket sales, she said. Customers who come in the store to purchase product and lottery tickets versus those who come to purchase lottery tickets alone are about equal.

Marilee Odegard, manager of Tobacco Outlet, 1300 U.S. Hwy. 62 East, had paid out about $100 in winnings by 2:20 p.m. Monday. She said ticket sales were steady Monday. She, too, had new customers in the store who had apparently taken tobacco-purchasing business to outlets in Missouri in order to participate in that state's lottery.

Roger Starks, manager of Y Grocery & Gas, 10842 State Hwy. 5, Salesville, said the store sold about $175 in tickets and paid out about $60 by 2 p.m. Monday.

"We have had an uncommonly smooth startup, with demand heavy enough that there have been a number of locations selling out of tickets by early afternoon," Julie Baldridge, a spokesman for the Arkansas Lottery Commission told The Bulletin at 4:30 p.m. on Monday. "Of course, these are being replenished quickly. We hope to top $1 million in gross sales by the end of the day, at minimum.

"There are 7.5 hours to go," she said.

Baldridge said instant-win scratch-off ticket sales as ticket packages are activated at retail locations. Each pack contains $300 in tickets. Some 8,500 packs had been activated statewide by 2 p.m., she said, and about $250,000 in winnings had been paid out.

The public may visit the Arkansas Lottery Web site — — to find a retailer participating in the lottery. The search is queued to city names or ZIP codes.

An online Arkansas Lottery Players Club gives players whose tickets didn't win a second chance to win by registering the ticket number online.

Baldridge said border counties like Baxter County are important to the state's lottery system.

"Profits from the Arkansas Scholarship Lottery go directly to our college students," Baldridge said. "The Arkansas Scholarship Lottery is good for our students and good for Arkansas businesses, and the Arkansas prize structure is more advantageous to players."

The Associated Press reported a Rison woman on Monday redeemed a $1,000 winning ticket she purchased for $2 in Pine Bluff.

Last Updated on Friday, 08 January 2010 01:53
Arkansas Lottery Begins
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Arkansas Lottery - News
Written by MyArkansasLottery   
Sunday, 04 October 2009 22:10

Less than a year from voter approval to first ticket sales

Arkansas has officially become the 42nd state to operate a government lottery — the 43rd jurisdiction, counting Washington, D.C.

Arkansas Lottery scratch-off tickets are now on sale at nearly 1,500 retailers throughout the state with the proceeds going towards funding college scholarships.

Retailers were allowed to begin selling scratch-off lottery tickets just after midnight today, and at least one location saw people lining up to be among the first buyers.

Close to 100 people were waiting to buy tickets at Murphy USA in west Little Rock when the lottery officially launched early today. The gas station was also the scene of a ceremony held by lottery officials to mark the occasion.

"We have put a down payment on the future of all Arkansans tonight. ... Now go buy some tickets!" state Lottery Director Ernie Passailaigue told the crowd, to cheers and applause.

The event included a ceremonial ticket purchase by Jim Purcell, director of the state Department of Higher Education. Passailaigue also presented a cigar to Lt. Gov. Bill Halter, saying, "We just birthed the lottery."

Halter proposed the constitutional amendment that voters approved last year to create a state-run lottery to fund college scholarships.

"As a result of that (vote), tens of millions of dollars will go into scholarships, and that is what makes this a very good day for Arkansas," Halter said.

Currently, there are four scratch-off games to play in total. Additional scratch games will be added in the coming months.

Arkansas lottery players will be hoping for more of a treat than a trick this Halloween, Oct. 31, when Powerball is slated to begin.

Winners of prizes under $500 can redeem their winning tickets at any lottery retailer. Winning lottery tickets of more than $500 need to be taken to one of three claim centers across the state.

Claim centers will be located in Springdale, Jonesboro, and Camden, but aren't expected to open their doors until later this fall. Until then, winning tickets of over $500 can be mailed to the Arkansas Scholarship Lottery office in Little Rock.

If it's a big prize, the winner may consider driving to lottery headquarters in Little Rock. As the lottery states in the "fine print", the risk of mailing lottery tickets rests with the player, so the winning ticket is only as safe as their neighbor's phone bill being mailed the same day.

For instant games, players have 90 days from the announced last day of the game's ticket sales to claim a prize. For an online (terminal-generated) lotto game like Powerball, players will have 180 days from the draw date to claim a prize.

The four scratch-off games currently available are:

3 Times Lucky

3 Times Lucky - Lottery Ticket

Ticket Price: $1
Prize Range: $1 to $3,000
Overall Odds of Winning: 1 in 4.80
How to Play: Scratch entire play area. Get three “3s” in any one row, column or diagonal line like tic-tac-toe, win prize shown in prize box.

Jumbo Bucks

Jumbo Bucks - Lotto Ticket

Ticket Price: $2
Prize Range: $2 to $25,000
Overall Odds of Winning: 1 in 4.08
How to Play: Match any of YOUR NUMBERS to either of the two SERIAL NUMBERS, win prize shown for that number. Get “JUMBO” and win 5 times that prize.

Arkansas Riches

Arkansas Riches Lottery Ticket

Ticket Price: $2
Prize Range: $2 to $20,000
Overall Odds of Winning: 1 in 4.00
How to Play: Match any of YOUR NUMBERS to any of the WINNING NUMBERS, win prize shown.

$100,000 Cash Bonanza

$100,000 Cash Bonanza

Ticket Price: $5
Prize Range: $5 to $100,000
Overall Odds of Winning: 1 in 3.27
How to Play: Match any of YOUR NUMBERS to any of the WINNING NUMBERS, win prize shown. Reveal a “BILL” symbol and win prize shown.

Last Updated on Friday, 08 January 2010 01:54
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