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Lottery to lower projected net proceeds

By Gavin Lesnick

This article was published January 15, 2014 at 12:25 p.m.


Arkansas Scholarship Lottery Director Bishop Woosley speaks while commissioner Dianne Lamberth looks on during a meeting of the lottery commission Wednesday.

The director of the Arkansas Scholarship Lottery said Wednesday he plans to lower the projected net proceeds for the fiscal year, a move that comes after a recent decline in instant ticket sales and a loss on the Million Dollar Raffle game.

Director Bishop Woosley said the net proceeds for college scholarships had been projected at about $90 million but will be revised downward.

He said an exact figure would come after a meeting with the agency's accounting department.

The Million Dollar Raffle, which drew its grand prize earlier this month, lost about $284,000, Woosley said.

"It is a game that has a certain amount of time or a lifespan and the risk when you set a date for a drawing is you don't sell out, you don't sell enough tickets to make a profit," Woosley told reporters after a meeting of the lottery commission. "This time it just didn't work. The players didn't take to it and it's disappointing."

Commissioners questioned Woosley about the raffle loss, ultimately forwarding it to a committee to explore what happened in greater detail.

"We'll review it and we'll go back and try to see what we did right and what we did wrong and analyze whether or not you even run a raffle again," Woosley said.

Commissioners also questioned Woosley about a decline in instant ticket sales at the end of the year. The sales in December were down 12.8 percent from a year before and 21.4 percent below projections.

Commissioner Mark Scott noted that kind of decline "would create a lot of concern for" a business.

"It should for us as well," he said.

Woosley said the instant numbers can be difficult to project because they fluctuate month-to-month.

Also on Wednesday, Woosley said the lottery is seeking to replace the Decades of Dollars draw game with another multi-state game.

He said that game hasn't lost money, but it hasn't lived up to expected sales of around $9 million a year.

"It's not been near that," he said. "It's one of those where we're looking for a game we can make more profit on."


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