The Arkansas lottery sold $1.2 million dollars worth of tickets the first day and paid out about $700,000 in winnings. The payoff, below 60 percent, isn't so hot for gamblers, but good for scholarship funds. At the first-day rate, that would produce more than $180 million a year, but it's premature to make such a projection. (Also, I think overhead expenses take about $200,000 out of the $500,000 -- $60,000 in sales commissions alone -- so make it about $108 million.)
Says Lt. Gov. Bill Halter, father of the Arkansas Lottery:
“Arkansas made history yesterday by generating an estimated $300,000 in scholarship funding in 24 hours … a terrific start. Congratulations to the Arkansas Lottery Commission and the Scholarship Lottery staff for executing a smooth lottery startup in record time.”
UPDATE: There were 140 $1,000 winners and a single $20,000 winner on the first day.