Arkansas Lottery Sales Hit the Jackpot

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LITTLE ROCK, Ark.(KARK) – Arkansas Scholarship Lottery (ASL) officials are calling this August, so far, the best they’ve had in years.

The numbers don’t lie. A sales increase of more than 30-percent compared to this time last year is pretty notable.

You could say they hit the jackpot.

“We’ve had a very good two weeks,” says Bishop Woosley, ASL Director.

The Arkansas Scholarship Lottery is boasting its best early August sales since 2012.

“We really kind of got a perfect storm of good games and good jackpots and some luck right now,” he adds.

In the first nine days of the month, instant game sales were up 26 percent, with draw game sales up 51 percent, rounding out to a more than 31-percent increase overall.

“For the most part it’s the first time Powerball and Mega Million have both been over 300 million at the same time,” Woosley continues.

But while much of the sales spike is thanks to massive jackpots, Woosley says debit card sales can also take part of the credit.

“You would have to think that that’s making some more accessible to people who just don’t carry around cash. So hopefully that’s having an impact as well,” he says.

“I think it’s a major one,” says State Senator Trent Garner (R-El Dorado).

He sponsored the bill to allow debit card lotto sales in the State of Arkansas. That went into effect August 1 and Garner feels it brings the lottery into the 21st century.

“If you look at my generation, I never carry cash with me. The lottery doesn’t track if tickets are bought with cash or card, so it’s too soon to know the exact impact. But ultimately, it’s the students who win big.

“That’s millions and millions of dollars going to scholarships here in Arkansas.” Sen. Garner adds.

And with more than 7-and-half million dollars raised for scholarships in July, the odds for August are looking pretty good.

Under the new law, credit card sales are still not allowed and places that sell lottery tickets can opt out of debit card transactions if they don’t want to worry about paying card fees. For example, EZ Mart has declined debit card sales, at least for now.

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