Leader Blues

Friday, September 18, 2009

TOP STORY >> LOTTERY FEVER

By RICK KRON
Leader staff writer

At least 60 area outlets are among the 1,600 businesses ranging from gas stations, convenience stores, tobacco shops, liquor stores, pawnshops and laundry mats that have received permission from the state to sell scholarship lottery tickets.

Local stores are busy setting up machines that will sell the lottery tickets.

Tickets will go one sale starting Monday, Sept. 28 .

Alford Tobacco at 1400 W. Dewitt Henry Drive in Beebe had their lottery machines installed at the store last Saturday.

A satellite dish for the lottery was installed the week before.

The store clerks are attending classes on the lottery this upcoming week in Little Rock.

Customers are itching for the first day that scratch-off lottery tickets go on sell next Monday, Sept. 28.

Tobacco store owner Judy Alford said, “We’ve had a good response. People are excited about it. We are thinking about opening earlier. People are asking when we are opening that day.”

The tobacco store opens for business at 7 a.m. Alford expects there will be crowd waiting in line.

Store clerk Regina Worthy said, “It is going to be busy, fast. The daily and weekly customers, most of them will play. Most have said they would buy 20 (tickets) the first day.”

Customers at Alford Tobacco expressed a growing interest in playing the lottery.

“You are dang right. I will buy tickets everyday if I can and if I have the money,” Todd Allison of Beebe said.

“If I am in here, I’ll buy one,” Marty Dean of Beebe said.

Bobby Holt of Jacksonville said he enjoys gambling. Holt traveled out of state to play the lottery.

Chase Coleman of El Paso considered playing the lottery. He said, “Maybe. I’m not against it. If I have a little extra money to spend, I don’t see why not.”

Christopher Brannen of Austin said, “Everyone is going to buy tickets the first day. I am going to wait a few weeks.”

Bridgette Frazier, with the state lottery commission, said the No. 1 question the commission gets is: “When can we buy lottery tickets? That’ll be Sept. 28.”

She said the second most asked question is when does the Powerball start? That’s Oct. 31.

Frazier said the lottery is starting with four different tickets: A $1 ticket, two different $2 tickets and a $5 ticket with prizes ranging from $2 to $100,000.

“We plan to add new tickets every month,” she said. Christmas-style tickets will come out in November and the state online pick-three and pick-four games will start in December.

“Eventually a retailer will have about 20 different lottery tickets for sale,” Frazier said.

The net profits from the lottery will be used to fund college scholarships.

Lt. Gov. Bill Halter, who pushed the lottery idea, said he expects the lottery to bring in $100 million for scholarship use.

Local retailers approved to sell the tickets are:

JACKSONVILLE

Junction Arkansas Station at 24109 Hwy. 107, J&J Mart at 2215 N. First St., In and Out convenience store at 4071 Hwy. 294, In and Out Express at 705 S. First St., Han’s Citgo gas station at 1521 S. Hwy. 161, Flash Market at 2255 John Harden Drive, Extra Stop convenience store at 1527 W. Main St., YKH Citgo at 120 Marshall Road and Discount Tobacco at 501 S. James St.

Tickets will also be sold at Jones Food Mart at 3701 N. First St., T-Rick’s convenience store at 14815 Hwy. 107, Family Mart at 713 S. First St., Victory Lane convenience store at 1801 Military Road, Express Mart at 1530 W. Main St., CJ’s Country Market at 7404 Batesville Pike, Olmstead Trade Center at 9240 Jacksonville-Conway Road, H&D Mini-Mart at 14218 Hwy. 107 and Macon 66 gas station at 22311 Hwy. 107.

SHERWOOD

The Crackerbox convenience store at 9250 Brockington Road, the EZ Mart at 2200 E. Kiehl Ave., Kiehl Phillip’s 66 at 8524 Hwy. 107, Murphy USA gas station at 400 W. Maryland Ave., Come N Get It convenience store at 1706 Batesville Pike, Payless Tobacco at 250-B W. Kiehl Ave., Flash Market at 8623 Warden Road, Tobacco World at 14509 Hwy. 107, Lucky Mart at 14508 Hwy. 107 and Sherwood Beverage at 4099 E. Kiehl Ave. will sell tickets.

Tickets will also be sold at Wildwood Phillip’s 66 at 2428 Wildwood, Kiehl Avenue Liquor at 4200 Kiehl Ave., Superstop gas station at 8604 Hwy. 107, Big Red store at 3900 E. Kiehl Ave. and the Stop One Food Mart at 3011 E. Kiehl Ave.

CABOT

Tickets will be sold at Murphy USA gas station at 208 S. Rockwood Road, Crackerbox convenience store at 1324 W. Main St., Alford Tobacco Store at 521 W. Main St., The Washboard at 100 N. First St., Pumps Foodmart at 3001 S. Hwy. 89, Nash’s convenience store at 914 W. Main St., Doublebee’s convenience store at 111 Bill Forster Memorial Road, Cabot Main Street Shell at 1120 Main St. and DB Tobacco Shoppe at 3290 S. Second St.

Tickets will also be sold at Ace Liquor Store at 8106 T.P. White Drive, the AC convenience store at 12135 Second St. and the Big Red Store at 12410 Hwy. 5.

LONOKE

The Lonoke Shell at 1695 N. Center St., the Tobacco Superstore at 504 N. Center St., Doublebee’s convenience store at 100 Dee Dee Lane, Furlow Grocery at 10623 S. Hwy. 89 and the Crackerbox convenience store at 1954 N. Hwy. 31 will be lottery proprietors.

WARD/AUSTIN

The Flash Market at 409 Hickory and Bill’s Sales, Rentals and More at 602 Elm St., both in Ward, and Dude’s Place at 3811 Hwy. 38 in Austin will sell lottery tickets.

EL PASO

Doublebee’s convenience store at 3097 Hwy. 5 and El Paso Shell at 1820 Hwy. 64 will sell lottery tickets.

BEEBE

The Flash Market at 2015 DeWitt Henry Drive, Alford Tobacco at 1400 W. DeWitt Henry Drive, Alford’s 66 gas station at 101 W. DeWitt Henry Drive, C&C Conoco at 1104 W. Mississippi, Movie Mania at 306 DeWitt Henry Drive and the Big Red store at 21 W. Hwy. 64 will all sell lottery tickets.

SEARCY

The Kwik Stop at 211 E. Race St., Murphy USA gas station at 3509 E. Race St., Flash Market at 1250 Truman Baker Dr., Holy Smoke’s Tobacco Shop at 811 S. Main St., Tobacco Superstore at 1501 W. Pleasure and Exxon Foodmart at 1720 W. Hwy. 36 will sell tickets.

Tickets will also be sold at Doublebee’s convenience store at 3401 E. Race St., Doublebee’s at 2620 W. Beebe-Capps, Doublebee’s at 3127 E. Race Ave., A&B Kwik Shop at 2355 Hwy. 16, AC convenience store at 1199 N. Maple Ave., AC store at 3247 W. Hwy. 36, AC store at 2000 S. Main St. and the AC store at 316 S. Benton Ave.

Tickets will also be sold at Terry’s Conoco at 500 W. Pleasure St., Tobacco Superstore at 2712 E. Race St., JB’s Express at 1010 Booth Ave., and the Tobacco Station at 2909 E. Race St.

Leader staff writer Jeffrey Smith contributed to this report.