- Associated Press - Sunday, February 12, 2017

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - Revenue to The Arkansas Scholarship Lottery in January fell by $21.7 million from the record collections of January 2016 and the amount raised for college scholarships fell by $5.9 million.

A report to Gov. Asa Hutchinson and the lottery oversight panel says a total of $37.1 million was collected last month with $7.9 million going toward scholarships.

January 2016 sales were boosted by the world-record $1.6 billion Powerball jackpot, officials said.

“I think if you just remove $20 million in Powerball (revenue) last year, you can draw a pretty good comparison with this past month,” Lottery Director Bishop Woosley told the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette (https://bit.ly/2l8EAmJ ).

Revenue from scratch-off games, also called instant tickets, totaled $31.21 million in January, down from $31.28 million a year ago. Draw-game revenue totaled $5.79 million last month - down from $27.40 million a year ago - the lottery said last week in its monthly report to Gov. Asa Hutchinson and the Legislature’s lottery oversight panel.

Draw games include Powerball, Mega Millions, the Natural State Jackpot and Cash 3 and Cash 4. Revenue also includes fees paid by retailers.

Thus far in fiscal 2017, scratch-off ticket revenue of $202.8 million exceeded the $201.2 million collected in the same period last fiscal year, according to the lottery. But that is $10.9 million short of the projected budget, while draw-game revenue of $46.6 million is $62.4 million less than collected at this point in fiscal 2016, but is $1.3 million ahead of the projected budget.

Net proceeds for college scholarships of $44.2 million is short of the $49.9 million reported at the same time in fiscal 2016.

The lottery reported an unclaimed prize balance of $5.2 million on Jan. 31. A 2011 law requires that unclaimed prize money, minus $1 million, be transferred to the state Department of Higher Education’s scholarship account on the last day of each fiscal year.

For fiscal 2017, Woosley is projecting revenue of $463.4 million, up from revenue of $456.3 million last year.

“Last year will be difficult to compete with given the huge boost we received from the record Powerball jackpot,” Woosley said. “That said, we will do everything we can to reach our projection for this year. Anything above that will be a bonus for the students of Arkansas.”

The lottery’s revenue peaked in fiscal 2012 at $473.6 million.

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Information from: Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, https://www.arkansasonline.com


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