Lottery sales soared to $1.2 million in the first day of sales Monday, according to numbers released from the Arkansas Scholarship Lottery Commission.
Commissioner Joe White said he was very pleased with the first day numbers.
"It went very well. It was a little over what we anticipated," White said.
More than $726,000 in prizes were validated. Included in those prizes were 140 $1,000 prizes and one $20,000 prize, according to Julie Baldridge with the Arkansas Scholarship Lottery.
About $60,000 was awarded in sales commissions to retailers, not including prize cashing commissions.
White offered some hypothetical numbers for the lottery based on the first day of play. On a day when the lottery brings in $1 million, White said $250,000 would be net profit for scholarships. About 25 percent of lottery sales will fund scholarships. On Monday, about $300,000 was raised for scholarships.
As of noon Tuesday, Scientific Games reported an estimated $410,000 in sales, according to Baldridge.
White estimated that if the average daily sales are $1 million, the lottery will raise $69 million for scholarships or 13,800 four-year scholarships valued at $5,000.
"This will not affect other scholarships out there," White said, noting that the lottery scholarships would be offered in addition to the Arkansas Challenge Scholarship. After the set up and first day of sales, White said he is pleased with the work of the commission and the staff.
"They worked hard," he said. "I am happy with what we had yesterday."
White said in January an announcement will be made from the Department of Higher Education regarding the scholarships funded by the lottery.
According to the legislation setting up the scholarship lottery, a few of the qualifications for Arkansas Challenge Scholarship Part 2 (lottery scholarships) are that students must be residents of Arkansas for 12 months preceding their application to an institution of higher education and full-time students must complete 27 hours in the first school year and 30 hours in the following years.
The legislation also states the net proceeds of the lottery determine the amounts of scholarships available.