The Arkansas Scholarship Lottery (ASL) is one year old today.
The first lottery ticket was sold in the Natural State at midnight, September 28, 2009. Click here for related story.
Since then, the Lottery has sold more than $485-million worth of tickets, funding tens of thousands of scholarships for Arkansas students.
The scholarships are distributed by the Arkansas Department of Higher Education (ADHE). The official observance of the anniversary will take place on Thursday when the Lottery Commissioners gather with ADHE Director Dr. Jim Purcell for a ceremony at ADHE headquarters in Little Rock.
For lottery players, there will be a number of promotional events throughout the week.
The Lottery, in partnership with 11 radio stations across Arkansas, will promote the Lottery Happy Birthday Week with on-air trivia questions. Listeners can win Lottery Happy Birthday instant ticket bundles worth up to $20 if they correctly answer questions about the Lottery.
During the promotion, the ASL website (click here) will feature Happy Birthday DOUBLE Points for Prizes. Players who haven’t discovered the website will enjoy starting their own online account and entering the serial numbers of their non-winning tickets. Once entered, these tickets accumulate points for free merchandise, from music downloads to flat-screen televisions.
The purpose of the ASL is to provide funding for the General Assembly to appropriate for scholarships and grants to Arkansas residents enrolled in public and private nonprofit two-year and four-year colleges and universities within the state.
The biggest lottery winner in Arkansas so far is Harold W. Bailey, of Conway. He won a $25 million Powerball jackpot in January and took home a check for $8.2 million.
The cash value of the jackpot was $12,153,621.78. After federal and state taxes totaling more than $3.8 million, Bailey was left with exactly $8,264,462,78. Arkansas income tax was withheld from the Bailey's winnings totaled $850,754.
Month by month (Lottery Revenues)
September 09 (3 days) 6,554,100
September (published totals available Oct. 10)
November 4, 2008 Almost 1 million Arkansas voters cast ballots on lottery issue, with 63-percent voting “yes”
March 26, 2009 Governor Mike Beebe signs Arkansas Scholarship Lottery Act, forming America’s 44th Lottery (43 states and DC)
May 5, 2009 Newly appointed 9-member Arkansas Lottery Commission meets; members named by Governor, House Speaker, and Senate President Pro Tempore
June 5, 2009 Commissioners announce they have chosen South Carolina Lottery Director to launch Arkansas’s Lottery
June 29, 2009 First two Arkansas Scholarship Lottery employees begin work
September 28, 2009 First four instant tickets go on sale
October 31, 2009 Powerball sales begin in Arkansas
January 31, 2010 Mega Millions cross-selling begins in Arkansas
June 30, 2010 Lottery ends Fiscal Year and first nine months of operation with $373 Million in sales and $82 Million in the Education Trust Fund; almost 2,000 retailers across the state; 49 instant tickets, Cash 3, Cash 4, and Arkansas Million Dollar Raffle existing or ready to roll out
August 2010 First Lottery Scholarship students enroll for the Fall 2010 semester