Increase in lottery sales leads to increase in scholarship money for Ark. students

Powerball ticket sales skyrocketing

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) -- The Powerball Jackpot has hit $430 million dollars.

That high number has led to increased excitement and ticket sales. If the lottery continues to roll after Wednesday's drawing, the jackpot will hit $510 million. That's the ninth highest Powerball amount in history. The Director of the Arkansas Lottery, Bishop Woolsey, said high jackpots lead to high sales. That means more scholarship money for Arkansas students.

Woolsey said during the last two weeks, Powerball and Megamillions tickets surpassed $300 million. It was the first time both have happened at the same time. Now, sales are 30% higher this month compared to others.

It's some of the best sales the Arkansas lottery has seen in years. Woolsey is confident that means they will be able to fund more Arkansas scholarships this year than they did last year. He said their mission is to help students so that win or lose, everyone wins.

"This money does not go to private corporations, it goes towards scholarships," he said. "If you win, great, you win a prize; if you don't, you can feel better knowing that money will help a student here in Arkansas."

Woolsey said he believes allowing debit card ticket sales has been a contributor to the increase in purchases.

"We started debit card sales August 1 and while I can't really give any concrete numbers, I would have to say that has been a factor in increased sales," he said. "Hopefully that will continue and more retailers will recognize it's a good thing to take debit cards to pay for the lottery."

The Arkansas Lottery said around 40% of every dollar spent on tickets goes toward funding Arkansas scholarships.

© 2017 KTHV-TV


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