Even lottery tickets haven’t moved many Arkansans to get the COVID-19 vaccination. I’m a little surprised. But even almost 6,000 dead Arkansans haven’t moved half the adult population to get shots, so …..

My question: What becomes of the $1 million worth of $20 lottery tickets the state bought to give as incentives?

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50,000 tickets were purchased and given to the Department of Health for distribution. I don’t have a firm count on how many have been handed out and am seeking that number. But Scott Hardin, of the Department of Finance Administration, which oversees the lottery, said he thinks “several thousand” have been handed out.

Of those, 843 have been cashed as winners. Since the game has a 1-in-3 chance of winning some amount, you could reasonably guess something less than 3,000 of the $20 tickets have been distributed.

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The breakout of winners so far:

 281 people – $20 winners

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129 people – $30 winners

164 people – $40 winners

182 people – $50 winners

80 people – $100 winners

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12 people – $500 winners

No claims have been made yet on the $5,000, $10,000, $50,000 and $1 million prizes (two of the big tickets are still outstanding.)

So what will be done with the other 47,000 or so tickets? For one thing, the incentive continues for the time being.

If tickets remain unused?

Said Meg Mirivel of the Health Department: “We are discussing that, but nothing definite is in the works yet. For now, the incentive program is continuing.”

UPDATE: Mirivel has the numbers on incentive distributions so far:

3,370 people have received a lottery ticket incentive, and 1,293 people have received a Game & Fish incentive.