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— Kim Hendren and other Arkansans are hoping for the new state lottery's success as it prepares to get under way.

Still, he'll watch to make sure the lottery is managed well, as it must be to succeed, said Hendren, RGravette.

Hendren was an opponent of the proposed constitutional amendment that created the lottery, but he was quick to say that, once the voters approved the lottery amendment in 2008, he wanted to do all he could to help to implement the lottery.

Lottery tickets began to arrive in West Little Rock this last week, and lottery ticket sales will begin Sept.


Intended to fund scholarships, the planned state lottery drew some unwelcome attention - not the least from state lawmakers, including Hendren - over the salaries set for top lottery officials.

Now, once widely heard criticisms over the high salaries aren't being heard as much, but people are still waiting for the new lottery to prove its value to the state,Hendren said.

"(The criticism has) quieted down a little bit. : I think everybody's just going to wait and see what happens," Hendren said.

Ticket sales will be an important indication of how successful the lottery will be, but so will the management of the lottery itself, Hendren said.

"Naturally, (a key issue) is how well it's managed, and how efficient we are on keeping the overhead and the cost of the lottery down. I know that's what everybody's going to be looking at," he said. "It's just like any business I've ever been involved in: If you're not able to run it efficiently and keep your overhead down, you won't be profitable.

Maybe 'profit' is the wrong thing to put in this thing, but the purpose that people voted for this for was to help our youngsters be able to have a chance to go to college."

But the state senator acknowledged, with a laugh, that some may have other things in mind when buying a lottery ticket.

"Of course, some would say it's a chance to win $200 million. Well, I'm sure some people believe that," he said.

News, Pages 3 on 09/23/2009

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