Arkansas Scholarship Lottery reports dip in ticket sales in thir - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Arkansas Scholarship Lottery reports dip in ticket sales in third quarter

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - There is a saying among gamblers: You can't win if you don't play. That's true whether you play the ponies, poker, Blackjack or even the lottery.

The Arkansas Scholarship Lottery announced recently that lottery sales for the months of July through September dropped $6.2 million compared to the same three-month period last year but don't tell that to store clerks.

"The majority of people that come in are buying lottery tickets, Powerball, Mega Millions, etc.," store clerk Sherri Murphy told Region 8 News.

Murphy works at Jordan's Kwik Stop in Paragould. She said when people buy lotto tickets, they don't just buy one.

"They'll either come in and buy a whole stack of them or they'll or if they do just buy a few, they'll scratch 'em and come back to back to back and keep playin' em," Muprhy explained.

While Murphy doesn't see what the state is reporting, students do.

In it's inception, a student could receive $20,000 from the scholarship over their four year college career. Now, it's down to $14,000.

"They had to look at how much money was available and how many students were eligible for the scholarship," Arkansas State University Director of Financial Aid and Scholarships Terry Finney told Region 8 News.

Finney said in 2010, students received $5,000 a year, every year, if they met scholarship requirements.

That changed in 2013 when expectations of the lottery's success didn't meet reality. The legislature established a tiered system for the lottery scholarship.

"For each year, it's $2,000 the first, then $3,000, $4,000 and $5,000 their senior year," Finney said. "So $5,000 is a nice scholarship to have so it gives students some incentive."

If revenues continue to go down, Finney said it could result in more changes.

"The money has to be there to be able to spend it," Finney explained.

For a look at the numbers reported by the Arkansas Scholarship Lottery over the past four years, click here.

In 2010, the first full year after the lottery's inception, Region 8 clerks sold more than $58.6 million in tickets. The following year they sold nearly $65 million worth. Since then, however, the numbers have steadily declined.

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