Arkansas Lottery Generating Jobs and Winnings

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Arkansas Lottery Generating Jobs and Winnings

JONESBORO, Ark. -- The success of the Arkansas Scholarship Lottery in recent weeks has forced companies, such as Kum & Go, to add new jobs, area television station KAIT-TV reported.

The Kum & Go convenience store on Highway 141 in north Jonesboro, Ark., is looking to hire two new employees to keep up with demand for lottery tickets. According to store manager Cindy Cole, the store averages $2,000 to 3,000 a day in lottery sales.

"Business has just picked up so much and looking toward the Powerball starting Oct. 31, and how much more increase we're going to get with that, we're actually going to be doubling our staff and we're currently holding interviews," she said.

Kum & Go determines how many employees are needed at any given time through a computerized system that tracks store sales, according to Cole, who said the system is designed to maintain quality customer service. "Right now, at our last printout, it's showing that we're close to doubling what I need in staff," she noted.

Cole has worked at the Kum & Go store for nine years and said she's seeing some people come in for the first time since the lottery started. Lottery customers also often buy other items along with their tickets, leading to larger transactions, she added.

"It's great for business. It not only increases our customer counts, which allows us to hire more employees, it's also increasing what everybody else is buying," she said. "Even if they come in just to buy a lottery ticket, they smell the chicken or think, 'I'll get a drink' or, 'gosh the gas price is great today, let me fill up.' So, it's increased all our other sales also."

Junior Foods, at the intersection of Culberhouse and Nettleton, applied to sell lottery tickets. Store owner Jim Quinn said the state has a backlog of applicants waiting to sell tickets. He said he expects to have his application approved later this month.

"I think overall it's a good thing. It's definitely a huge driver for the business. It's going to be good for our cash flow at the store level, and I think it's going to possibly afford us the opportunity to hire some more associates," Quinn told KAIT-TV.

While he's excited about the sale of lottery tickets, though, Quinn said he wants to alleviate possible customer service problems. "It's definitely increased traffic, but on the same side of the good traffic, if you don't end up taking care of that traffic, it can be a backlog for that customer who's trying to get in and get convenience. That's one thing we want to ensure is that our customers are still able to get in and get out fast."

Businesses receive 5 percent of lottery ticket sales and a percentage of winning tickets, according to Quinn, who added: "We're excited. If we work it the right way and we train our people right, and we don't let the lottery get in the way of our everyday customer who's coming in here for a quick in-and-out, I think it will be a success for us."

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