LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) – The Arkansas State Lottery (ASL) has a big milestone coming up. Over the last five years, it's made nearly $450 million that has gone towards Arkansas scholarships. Now, lottery officials hope a new marketing push will attract new buyers.
"We are thinking that these are going to be more targeted towards a younger audience," said Patrick Ralston, director of public relations. "Hopefully trying to expand that sweet spot of demographic."
But, it seems that young people and lotteries just don't mix.
"I know that people that go to school with me, anyway, nobody ever talks about the lottery," said 22-year-old Keiundra Collier. "It's not something that we're really interested in."
"Sometimes I just would rather spend money on other things," added 23-year-old Wil Halfner.
Here in Arkansas, people under 25 only account for 11 percent of lottery sales, but ASL hopes that new games may change that.
"Of course, we do have a lot of games and it can be kind of daunting when you walk in, and you see that kind of selection, but you know, there's really a game for every taste," Ralston suggested. "There's a game for every price point, whether you want to spend a dollar or $5."
Games like Monopoly and Lucky for Life are set to hit Arkansas stores in the next few months, and Ralston said the entire industry is looking at ways to reach younger players.
"Of course, this is also a period in most people's lives where they don't have as much discretionary income," he said.
But, Halfner isn't convinced that more bells and whistles will do the trick.
"I think a lot of other young people just like to go out on the town on a Friday night rather than pay for a lotto ticket," Halfner said.
Another issue, Ralston said, is the lack of participation because young adults just don't know much about the lottery system.
"We want people to play at a level that they feel comfortable," Ralston said. "Certainly we don't encourage anyone to play beyond their means."