The Arkansas Lottery reports:
Three-week sales hit $29 million, with $18.6 million paid out in winnings.
State startup loan of $2.8 million has been repaid.
Thousands of players are using the "play it again" feature on the lottery website for a second shot at winners on losing tickets. Reduces litter, the lottery notes.
Full lottery release:
Three Week Lottery Sales Total Nears $29 Million
The Arkansas Scholarship Lottery (ASL) reported $28,983,223 in gross lottery sales and prizes paid to lucky winners of $18,699,375 for its first three weeks of operation. The ASL sold its first ticket just after midnight on Monday, September 28. At that time, four instant tickets were introduced as the Lottery was launched. New ticket offerings will continue regularly, with four new instant tickets coming out tomorrow (Tuesday, Oct. 20—graphics attached).
Powerball®, which offers a minimum grand jackpot of $20 million, arrives in Arkansas on October 31, when the ASL will join the other 32 United States lotteries in offering the multi-state jackpot game.
On December 14, the first instate draw game, Cash 3, will be introduced, with other draw games beginning in 2010. It is expected that once the Lottery is fully operational, the scratch-off games such as those currently available will make up about 60 percent of the play, with the draw games accounting for about 40 percent.
“Play It Again” Offers Cash, Merchandise
The ASL’s Play It Again, an important second-chance feature, has achieved remarkable success. Ernie Passailaigue, ASL Executive Director, called Play It Again “an incredible way to give our players added value, creating both merchandise rewards and additional opportunities to win the top prize for each instant ticket game.” Eligible tieckets for Play It Again are those that did not initially qualify for a prize.
To qualify, players simply can access the ASL website, www.myarkansaslottery.com, sign up once for a free personal account, and continue entering information on their eligible tickets. When each game ends, one lucky Play It Again player will win a drawing for the top prize offered for that ticket. Then, in early 2010, players will be able to log on to their account, view their accumulated points, and redeem them for a variety of merchandise at a virtual “store” on www.myarkansaslottery.com.
In the first three weeks of operations, the Play It Again site has been enormously successful, with 46,050 registered players submitting 1,157,036 eligible ticket entries. Play It Again members have already earned more than 8,000,000 Points for Prizes in only 21 days.
In addition to making the Lottery more entertaining, Play It Again has the added bonus of encouraging players to retain the tickets until they can be entered on a computer and then disposed of properly—thus cutting down on litter.
Lottery Pays State of Arkansas $2.8 Million to Retire Startup Loan
Writing its first official business check, the Arkansas State Lottery repaid the state of Arkansas $2,804,582.87, the amount spent in the Lottery startup and launch process. The check was signed by Executive Director Ernie Passailaigue and Vice President of Administration Ernestine Middleton and was hand –delivered to the state.
The Arkansas Scholarship Lottery legislation had allotted $6 million for the startup, with an additional $3 million available if the need arose. By careful management, the ASL was able to restrict its expenses to less than one-third of the total provided.
Passailaigue noted that the three-month startup time, while setting a record for a quick startup, had a more important goal: “Our rapid startup was all about scholarships and limiting the number of days the Lottery was operating with no income. The sooner we could start selling tickets, the better for the scholarship program.”