by Max Brantley
Click this link for a spreadsheet on county-by-county sales of lottery tickets for the first two weeks of sales, Sept. 28-Oct. 11
Pulaski, the state's biggest county, led by far, with $4.4 million, followed by Jefferson County with $1 million, then Faulkner, Saline, White, Lonoke, Pope, Garland, Washington and Sebastian.
The more interesting figure, not readily available, is the per capita sales by county. Sharpen your pencils and get at it.
Here's some quick ciphering of my own on per capita sales in the top ten counties on sales alone, based on 2006 Census population estimates: Jefferson, $12.60; Pulaski, $11.99; Pope, $10.42; Lonoke, $10.31; White, $9.90; Saline, $8.40; Faulkner, $7.97; Garland, $6.25; Sebastian, $3.92; Washington, $3.11.
UPDATE: The beauties of crowd-sourcing. Reader Anoncow has imported 2008 Census population data to a spread sheet with the sales to give us a 75-county per capita ranking. The leaders: Dallas, $17.64; Conway, $14.18; Arkansas, $13.65; Jackson, $13.11; Jefferson, $12.96; Pulaski, $11.69; Pope, $10.02.
Noted at the bottom of the list is Newton County, where the $12,000 in tickets sold to 8,298 residents worked out to $1.45 each.
There's been interest in the demographics of lottery players, including race and income. Pulaski and Jefferson, the top selling counties in dollar volume, have the largest black populations in the state, in numbers, but not percentage. Phillips County, which is 62.8 percent black according to 2003 Census data, had $168,300 in sales or about $7.79 per capita.
The lottery isn't fully rolled out yet, of course, and availability of vendors could change things. I'm interested that Sebastian and Garland, with handy gambling options already, have modest sales numbers. Crittenden, home to the dog track, had $5.11 in per capita sales.