SFC lottery sales up for last month

Revenue for the Arkansas Scholarship Lottery in St. Francis County rebounded in October from the year's lowest total. Statewide lottery revenues also saw an increase over the previous month.

From Oct. 1 to Oct. 31, scholarship lottery sales in St. Francis County totaled $342,106. Last month's total showed an increase from September, in which the county saw its lowest lottery revenues this year at $324,811.

According to the monthly lottery report prepared for Gov. Asa Hutchinson, the bulk of the revenue collected in St. Francis County came from instant settlement games, also known as scatch-off tickets. The county generated $290,561 from instant settlement tickets in October.

Despite the increase in revenue from September, October's revenue totals are the third lowest revenue total in St. Francis County since last October, when the county collected $333,397 in lottery revenue.

Lottery revenue in Lee County also rebounded in October, totaling $91,596, an increase of more than 13 percent from September, when the county collected just $79,794.50.

The county collected the bulk of its October revenue through instant settlement tickets, with $78,000 worth of tickets sold.

Last month's total sales in Lee County also surpassed that which was collected in October of 2016, at $83,432.

Revenue in both counties is still significantly lower than what was collected in August, when a pair of national draw games surpassed $750 million.

Like St. Francis and Lee counties, statewide scholarship lottery sales increased in October. According to the monthly lottery report, statewide revenue rose nearly $3 million last month, from $36.4 million to $39.3 million. September's total was also an increase of $3 million from the previous month.

Arkansas Scholarship Lottery revenue increases come as the state Department of Higher Education predicts to award more Academic Challenge scholarships than ever. According to a ADHE press release, more than 36,000 students are expected to receive the lottery-funded scholarship this fiscal year than were awarded in each of the previous fiscal years in which the lottery scholarship has existed.

According to the department's projections, $97.3 million is expected to be awarded to 36,014 in fiscal 2018. The fiscal year started July 1. The projections surpass the current record, set in fiscal 2014, when 35,303 students received $112.8 million.