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Lottery plans big boost in Natural State Jackpot to celebrate 10 year anniversary

To celebrate its 10-year anniversary, the Arkansas Scholarship Lottery is planning a big boost in the Natural State Jackpot if it reaches $150,000 this week.
Credit: Arkansas Scholarship Lottery

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Arkansas Scholarship Lottery is celebrating its 10 year anniversary with a big boost in the Natural State Jackpot (NSJ) if it reaches $150,000 this week.

The jackpot will jump to $200,000 Friday rather than it's normal $150,000 if it hasn’t been hit by then. The jackpot stands at $135,000 for the Tuesday (Feb. 18) drawing.

The Natural State Jackpot is exclusive to Arkansas. Drawings are held Monday through Saturday at 8 p.m.

he jackpot starts at $50,000 and increases by $5,000 every draw until it hits $150,000. After that, it normally increases by $10,000 every draw until it’s won. 

“However, we want to thank our Arkansas lottery players so we are planning a $55,000 jump in the jackpot if no one wins by Thursday night,” said Bishop Woosley, director of the Arkansas Scholarship Lottery. “That means the NSJ drawing for Friday night will be for $200,000 rather than $150,000.” 

26 people have won prizes in the Natural State Jackpot since Jan. 1, 2019, for total winnings of $2,932,329.

A Greenbrier woman won the largest jackpot of $430,000 last May. 

The second largest jackpot was $320,000 won by a woman in Austin, Ark., in December. A Fort Smith man was the most recent winner on Jan. 28. He won $210,000. 

RELATED: Fort Smith Man Hits $210,000 Lottery Jackpot On His Birthday

NSJ tickets cost $1 and players select five numbers between 1 to 39. If all the numbers match those that are drawn, the player wins the jackpot.

Woosley says through February players can purchase the 5-Buck Bundle, which includes a $3 Powerball ticket with Power Play, a $2 Mega Millions ticket and a free $1 Natural State Jackpot ticket – a $6 value for just $5. 

All Bundle tickets must be Quick Picks, which means the computer randomly selects the numbers. 

Woosley says whether a player picks his own numbers or has the terminal randomly select numbers, the odds of winning are the same.

All proceeds from lottery purchases help fund college scholarships for Arkansans.

More than 92 cents of every dollar of lottery revenue goes to prizes, scholarships, retailer commissions, and other expenses in Arkansas. 

Since 2009, the lottery has raised more than $922 million in proceeds for scholarships. More than 542,000 college scholarships have been awarded to Arkansans. 

The lottery has paid more than $3 billion in prizes to players, about $268 million in retailer commissions and more than $131 million state and federal tax revenue.