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Raffle falls flat

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Raffle falls flat

The Arkansas Lottery's Million Dollar Raffle game has had its share of bumps and bruises. Within a few days of the game's release a glitch caused retailers to pay 42 $20 prizes to the wrong players.

Now the problem is slow sales. A drawing for the big prize was slated to be held in September but that has been delayed. No drawing will be held until 500,000 tickets have been sold. As of last week, barely more than 200,000 had been sold.

Julie Baldridge, director of public affairs for the Arkansas Lottery, says getting the raffle going has been somewhat "star-crossed," but lottery officials are plugging along and looking forward to handing out prizes. She said, "The lottery will definitely meet their obligations with the tickets, with the terms that are stated on the ticket." Prizes for the raffle will include two $1 million winners and 540 $1,000 winners.

Baldridge says the raffle game has been a learning experience.

"The Raffle promises to be a fairly profitable game, not just for the players, but for the state," she says. "You never know until you try and it's likely there will be a different structure in the future. But things that work in other states sometimes don't work here and the things that work here don't always work in other states, or at least not as quickly."

Green and a gunner

Sen. Denny Altes of Fort Smith is term-limited, but he's managed to extend legislative service by jumping to the House. He's among the most reliably extreme right-wingers in the legislature, so he surprised a few people with some of his legislation for the coming session, particularly an environmentally sensitive measure to require retail stores to use only paper sacks or reusable shopping bags. Plastic bags would be outlawed. Walmart alone should nip this idea in the bud.

Altes lived more up to history with a bill to allow open carry of handguns in Arkansas in all "public places."

Will write for food

Times are definitely tough for college graduates recently released into a lackluster job market. Some have moved back in with mom and pop. Others have taken jobs as bartenders and baristas. One purported honors graduate from the University of Central Arkansas has taken a different path.

An advertisement on Craigslist announces "Need a Paper? I WILL WRITE IT FOR YOU!" The author of the post says all you have to do is "e-mail me with the specifics of your assignment (topic, length requirement, due date, etc.) and we will discuss prices. I will respond within twelve hours."

The post claims that all work is "original research (plagiarism free)," although that wouldn't be true for the student who turns it in.

Donna Bowman, associate director of the Honors College at the UCA, saw the post and took to Twitter to encourage her followers to "Identify and shame" the freelance research paper writer.   


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