Oklahoma's lottery forecast is down $5.5M

BY MICHAEL MCNUTT Modified: September 23, 2009 at 4:17 am •  Published: September 23, 2009

large drop-off is expected of Powerball tickets now being sold to Arkansas residents.

"Why would you drive from Arkansas to Oklahoma to play Powerball?”

It’s estimated the Oklahoma lottery could lose as much as $12 million in sales during the first year Arkansas has its games, he said. That would result in a loss of $3.5 million to $4 million for education. The losses could be higher if Arkansas offers higher prizes than Oklahoma.

Unlike Oklahoma, the Arkansas lottery does not have restrictions on proceeds. Oklahoma lottery trustees unsuccessfully attempted to get bills passed to increase the percentage of lottery revenues that go to prizes. They said removing Oklahoma’s mandate that 35 percent of sales go to education would increase sales and, as a result, mean more money for education.

William Paul, chairman of the Oklahoma Lottery Commission, said the lottery as of Aug. 31 has raised $288.1 million for education. Lottery sales in the state started in October 2005, almost a year after voters in November 2004 approved a constitutional amendment setting up the lottery.

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