Arkansas Lottery

Arkansas lottery officials and a vendor cannot agree on terms for a contract extension.

Intralot Inc. had agreed to cut its share of revenue in a new three-year contract, but the company and the Arkansas Scholarship Lottery couldn't agree on a start date for the new pact.

Lottery commissioners were to have approved the deal Monday, but canceled their meeting, according to the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette newspaper of Little Rock.

Lottery Camelot Global Services
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

A proposal to hire an outside consulting firm to evaluate the Arkansas Scholarship Lottery is to go before the Arkansas Legislative Council Friday. Lawmakers are concerned that lottery revenue has been declining for the last couple of years and have been pushing for the assessment.

Executives with Camelot Global Services, which lawmakers are considering hiring without taking bids from other companies, spoke Thursday before the lottery's legislative oversight committee.

Arkansas Scholarship Lottery
Arkansas Scholarship Lottery /

The Arkansas Scholarship Lottery is saying after five years of operation it’s meeting one of its lesser-known objectives: collecting unpaid taxes and child support.

Public Relations Director Patrick Ralston said the lottery has recouped nearly $1 million as part of an often overlooked part of the law which created the lottery.

“One of the lesser known provisions of that act requires that the lottery cooperate in identifying debtors who owe money to the state, specifically prize winners with unpaid state taxes or child support payments,” said Ralston.

The Arkansas lottery is to close three regional claim centers in a move that will make an extra $381,000 available for college scholarships. Six jobs will be lost.

The Arkansas Lottery Commission voted Wednesday to close the centers. Each of the centers employs two people.

Lottery Director Bishop Woosley says the workers would be able to seek other employment within the agency.

A center in Springdale will close Oct. 1, and centers in Camden and Jonesboro will close Nov. 30. Each closure is set for when the centers' leases expire.

The Arkansas Scholarship Lottery is warning about telephone scammers making false representations about people winning a prize.

The lottery says there are reports of someone claiming to represent the lottery and calling Arkansans to say they had won a prize. The caller instructs the would-be victim to go to a local store and buy a pre-paid card called a Green Dot MoneyPak in order to pre-pay taxes on the prize.

The lottery says scammers have also provided a toll-free number that when called mimics the Arkansas Scholarship Lottery phone message.

Lottery Director Bishop Woosley
Jacob Kauffman / KUAR

The Arkansas Lottery Commission is pursuing some adjustments to its auditing process in an effort to retain some revenue. Numbers released Tuesday show the lottery’s revenue dropping for a second consecutive year resulting in nearly $9 million dollars less in scholarship funds.

The Arkansas Scholarship Lottery's revenue and net proceeds have dropped for the second straight year.

The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reports this year's revenue slipped by $29.5 million to $411 million. The amount raised for college scholarships declined by almost $9 million. The lottery projects net proceeds will continue to drop.

Bishop Woosley, director of the Arkansas Scholarship Lottery, said Tuesday the revenue dip can be attributed to drops in sales of scratch-off and Powerball tickets.

The Arkansas House and Senate have approved separate measures calling for a moratorium on electronic lottery games like keno, lining up the chambers to adjourn their special session in the early hours Wednesday.

The House on Tuesday passed the moratorium on a 96-1 vote, while the Senate approved the measure on a 34-0 vote. Final votes are expected shortly after midnight Wednesday.

The measure bars the state lottery from launching monitor games such as keno until next spring. It's a compromise that eases an original plan to outright bar the games.

State Senator David Johnson (D-Little Rock)
Thomas Saccente / KUAR

A proposal prohibiting the state lottery from expanding into video monitor games advanced another step Tuesday morning. The Senate State Agencies and Governmental Affairs Committee passed the bill without any dissenting votes. The measure will be taken up for a full Senate vote Tuesday afternoon. The House advanced an identical version Monday.

Democratic Senator David Johnson of Little Rock said even with the limit on lottery games expected to pass this special session exploring new revenue options for declining scholarship amounts will be re-visited.

A Lonoke man has won the Natural State Jackpot, claiming a $410,000 prize after the game had 63 draws without a top winner.

Arkansas lottery officials said Friday that the winner of the five-number draw is Curtis O'Hare, who bought his ticket at a Cabot convenience store.

The game began in August 2012 as an Arkansas-only numbers game. The game has about 575,000 possible number combinations but the odds are better than in national draw games, such as Powerball and Mega Millions, which lottery officials say makes it popular among players.