September 30, 2009 Edition

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Lottery sales big on first day

Bill McCrory of Walnut Ridge checks his lottery ticket to see if he is a winner. McCrory bought a $1 ticket but it was not one of the lucky ones.
TD Photo ~ Shantelle Prater
Vivian Heyl
Staff Writer

Monday was the first day of business for the Arkansas Lottery, which went off with relatively few hitches. According to local retailers sales were brisk from opening until closing.

It was estimated by the lottery commission that $600,000 in ticket sales were made statewide on Monday with a payout of $450,000 to winning tickets.

Lottery tickets are available for instant win games with prices of $1, $2 and $5. Payouts vary from $1 to as much as $3000 on a $1 ticket and up to $100,000 on a $5 ticket.

The Tobacco Superstore began ticket sales at midnight on Monday. During the first day they sold an estimated 1,095 tickets with a net payout of $754. Sales went well according to store employee Becky Brown.

"We had a line waiting to buy them at midnight," she said. "We had pretty solid sales all day."

Fred Flemon, owner of Big Al's, reported that lottery ticket sales went well at both stores.

"We sold about 800 tickets at each of our locations," Flemon said. "People bought tickets pretty steady all day."

T-Ricks manager Sam Hameed reported that they had $1,500 in lottery ticket sales with $591 in payouts on Monday.

Southpoint Tiger Express Exxon said due to a software glitch they were not able to sell lottery tickets until 3 p.m. "Once we got the right software downloaded everything went great," said store manager Anita Foster. "We sold 2,000 lottery tickets," she said. "Business was really good."

Mark Richey, manager at Latham's Grocery and Gas in Portia, said that ticket sales were very good.

"It was much better than we expected," Richey said. "We don't have exact figures but we are pleased with our first day."

Lottery tickets also did well at McLeod's Grocery in Imboden according to store manager Melanie McLeod. "We sold 134 tickets our first day," she said. "We paid out $160 in winnings. One person won $100 the first day."

Flash Market in Ravenden got off to a slower start because of equipment malfunctions on Monday.

Betty Konecny, manager, said that sales didn't start until later in the day but that sales were steady once the equipment was working correctly. "We've really picked up today (Tuesday)," she said, "and sales are going really well."

Adam Pratt of Pratts Auto Salvage also reported good tickets sales. "We sold 300 tickets and paid out winnings to 25 ticket holders on Monday," he said.

In addition to providing support to students in the form of scholarships the lottery will also provide a boost to the local economy through a small commission paid to local retailers who sell lottery tickets and in the increase of traffic at local businesses.

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