Lottery celebrates record high with in-person event, jackpot continues to rise
By Kate Northrop
The Arkansas Lottery Natural State Jackpot (NSJ) has reached an all-time high and continues to climb to new heights, having surpassed half a million dollars after the drawing took place on Thurs., June 16.
There's a record amount of money up for grabs in the Arkansas Natural State Jackpot game, and it only continues to grow now that it has officially whizzed by the $500,000 milestone.
It's an unprecedented record for the Arkansas in-state lottery game. On average, according to the Lottery, the Natural State Jackpot is usually won when it hits levels between $200,000 and $225,000, and the jackpot had previously reached its highest point three years ago at $430,000.
"We are thrilled that NSJ continues to grow, which has increased the excitement over this game, which is exclusive to Arkansas," Lottery Executive Director Eric Hagler said in a press release. "For only $1, Arkansas players have an opportunity to win a half a million dollars in Arkansas' own Natural State Jackpot game. That's never happened before in our state."
To celebrate the historic occasion, the Lottery held an in-person event at the Quick Fuel Mart on Otter Creek Parkway in Little Rock, where Lottery employees and Mike Kennedy of The Point 94.1 radio station enthusiastically welcomed players to join in on the fun. Players who bought a $1 NSJ lottery ticket were able to spin a prize wheel to win various pieces of Lottery merchandise.
Players who particularly enjoy the Natural State Jackpot might recognize the retailer, which is one of the top sellers for the game.
Ashley McNatt, the Marketing & Advertising Director at the Lottery, attended the event yesterday and remarked that it was a big success in bringing local attention to the game and its record milestone.
Normally, McNatt told Lottery Post, the Quick Fuel Mart will sell about a couple hundred dollars' worth of tickets for the game. By the time the event wrapped up at around 7:00 pm, the retailer had recorded about $1,000 in sales.
One thing McNatt noticed was that many people who stopped by to check out the commotion did not in fact play the lottery but expressed interest in learning how.
"We're always looking to engage new players!" McNatt said.
The NSJ game, which had its start in October 2012, offers a starting jackpot of $50,000 with an increase of $5,000 should no one win. After it reaches $150,000, the increase is bumped up to $10,000 until it is won.
Players looking to scoop up the monumental jackpot can purchase a ticket at local lottery retailers. The odds of matching all five numbers to win the NSJ jackpot are 1 in 575,757. Drawings occur every day except Sunday at 8:00 pm CT.
It remains to be seen whether someone will end the rollover streak and finally take home the jackpot, which currently stands at $510,000.